Freshman Preview: Dom Mejia

TSW previews the class of 2002 as they hit the hardwood for the first time in NC State uniforms. We caught up with Eastern High School coach, Dave Allen, to see how Dom is adjusting to life in Raleigh.

The announcement and arrival of Dominick (Dom) Mejia to NC State went mostly unnoticed by the media and outsiders that follow college basketball. Dom originally committed to play for Rutgers in October, 2001, before he had fully qualified. Naturally, he dropped off most of the recruiting radars. But the story does not end there.

When he eventually got his needed SAT scores, schools began calling on him again so he opened back up the process. NC State had one more scholarship to give and after some quick evaluations, the Wolfpack extended an offer. Mejia's decision came down to Rutgers and NC State. He chose, flying under the recruiting radars, to play in Raleigh. TSW conducted a preseason interview with Eastern High School coach Dave Allen, who talks to Mejia on a weekly basis, to see how Dom is adapting to college life.

The transition from Jersey to the Carolinas has been a smooth one so far for Dom. He finds himself with a summer session behind him and is about to begin full practices with his teammates. "Dom's individual workouts are going well. He is shooting the ball well. He is a very interchangeable player. He can play the 1, 2 or 3. He will do whatever the coaches ask him to do" said Coach Allen.

He also is adjusting to his new teammates, who Mejia is finding to be much like himself, hard workers. "He is with a good group of kids. They put a high emphasis on hard work. They give a great effort."

The visit to the NCAA in 2002 will not be a one time event if the returning players and the incoming freshmen have anything to say about it. According to Allen, this is on their minds. "They went to the tournament last year with some success. They have high expectations this year as well. Dom is ready to help this team get there."

Being a late spring signee, NC State fans have not gotten to know Mejia through the usual press buildup that typical recruits receive these days. We asked Coach Allen, who Dominick's game will resemble when he suits up for the Pack. "He reminds me a little of Andre Miller or Kerry Kittles as a college player. He is 6'4" that can play different positions. He just has tremendous skills."

While the on court activities are going great, Mejia is also having early success in the classroom. According to Coach Allen, he is sporting an early 3.0. "He is adapting very well. He had one course in the summer and he made a B."

Many NC State fans were able to catch a glimpse of Dom at the Chavis league this summer. He quickly became a fan favorite with his drives to the baskets, quick passes and outstanding defense. All signs point to similar play in the RBC Center.

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