Dwayne Sutton always wanted to play basketball for the University of Louisville.
Now, the former Manual High School star will get a chance to fulfill his dream. Sutton, who played his freshman season at UNC Asheville, announced he was transferring earlier this week and on Friday said he was going to Louisville.
Sutton, who averaged 12 points and earned Big South Conference Tournament MVP honors in one season at Asheville, said he will be a preferred walk-on. He will finish the semester at Asheville and then transfer to U of L and sit out next season.
Sutton's mother has worked at U of L for seven years.
"I'm excited," Sutton said. "I know I am a scholarship player so (the walk on) is not a big deal to me. I'm playing at the highest level.
"Coach Pitino said he's looking forward to coaching me. My mom and dad went and met with coach (Kenny) Johnson) and coach (David) Padgett and they were watching my film. They said I can help them, and I know I can."
The 6-foot-5 Sutton also had heard from Western Kentucky, Wichita State, George Washington, UNC-Wilmington, Ball State and Eastern Kentucky among several other schools in the last few days.
But being home was a "huge reason" and his several other connections to U of L also helped. Sutton said his mother has worked at the school for seven years and noted he's close to U of L freshman Ray Spalding after the two went to elementary school together.
A first-team All-State selection as a senior at Manual, Sutton averaged 25.7 points a game.
As a freshman at UNC Asheville, Sutton started all 34 games, averaged 12 points a game and led the team in rebounding (7.7) and also shot 47 percent from the floor. Sutton scored 25 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in Asheville’s 77-68 win over Winthrop in the Big South Conference championship game. He had 11 points and four rebounds in the NCAA opener against national champion Villanova.
"I love the fact that I get to play in my home town," Sutton said. "But I also know I can play there. Coach Pitino told me to finish out my academic year strong and then I'm ready to get to work."