The Georgia Stars 16U squad took this past weekend off in order to rest and recoup for what should be a challenging tournament at the Nike EYBL in Minneapolis, Minnesota over Memorial Day weekend.
Star power forward and class of 2015 standout Noah Dickerson from Atlanta (Ga.) Lovett School wasn’t as lucky as his teammates. Instead of spending some time away from game action and on the practice floor, the 6-8, 220-pound force was called up to the 17U team. Although some of the players are only one year older, the game itself is played and called a little differently at that level.
“It’s really, really physical,” Dickerson told GoBlueWolverine. “Especially because the refs don’t call fouls.”
Dickerson isn’t someone to take issue with the added physicality. Instead, the former football player just embraces it, and spreads the tough love to opponents on both ends of the floor.
“I guess I like to body and push my way to the paint,” said Dickerson of his game. “I’m not finesse. I like to scrap. My first sport was football so I don’t mind getting hit.”
Currently holding scholarship offers from Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Virginia, and Marshall, as well as strong interest from Alabama, Dickerson just recently started hearing from the Michigan Wolverines, fresh off their appearance in the national championship game at the Georgia Dome right in the heart of Atlanta.
“I haven’t personally talked to anybody actually,” said Dickerson. “My mom has a little. They actually started calling maybe like a week and a half ago. It’s really just starting.
“Michigan is one of my most favorite schools. I like the school and I can’t wait to build a relationship with them.”
Originally born in New Jersey, Dickerson has a familiarity with Michigan and what the Wolverines have to offer. Turns out Dickerson’s mother has always had an affinity for the Maize & Blue, as well as the Blue Devils, and, oddly enough, Michigan’s arch rival.
“Ever since I was little -- I didn’t start playing sports until I was about 10 or 11 -- but in the house there was always three colleges that were always in the house,” said Dickerson. “Duke, Ohio State, and Michigan. Those were the three schools my mom always talked about.”
Any specific reason?
“Not one,” said Dickerson laughing. “That’s just the way it was.”
Of the three, Michigan and Ohio State are the only two in contact with Dickerson at this point in his recruitment.
The emergence of the Wolverines’ freshman center Mitch McGary during the 2013 NCAA tournament caught the eye of Dickerson. Looking for an offense and playing style that dictates the inclusion and influence of post players is exactly how he envisions himself contributing at the college level.
“They like to go inside a lot which is always a really good thing,” said Dickerson. “I’m a post up guy. I like to fight in the paint and rebound and do the dirty work. They do that at Michigan. I know at a lot of schools they have big men that like to roam the perimeter and things like that but I like being in the paint. That’s where it’s easiest to score, higher percentages, and things like that.”
Although Dickerson prefers to utilize his toughness and tenacity in the paint, his coach has been working with him on his outside shot, especially in pick and pop situations. The added dimension is already beginning to pay dividends not only for his team, but also for his own development as a player.
“I can shoot,” said Dickerson. “I’ve worked on my shot a lot so a lot of times in the pick and roll instead of rolling I can pop out to the three-point line and I’ll shoot it. My coaches tell me that a lot of big guys can’t get out there to guard other big guys. It’s a wide-open shot and you just have to be able to knock it down consistently.”
Dickerson plans to be in Ann Arbor to participate in Michigan’s College Practice Camp on June 1st, as well as camp stops at Stanford, Virginia, and Tennessee this summer.
Until then, he and the Georgia Stars have a little work to do this weekend in Minnesota, looking to win five games in a row in order to qualify for entry into Peach Jam this upcoming July.
Off the court, Dickerson is hoping to learn more about the history programs at each of the schools’ he’ll visit, planning to major in the field once he arrives in college.