Discovering Da'veed Dildy

As the 2005-06 season progresses, Stanford observers have become more acutely aware of the impending point guard graduation and losses of Chris Hernandez and Jason Haas. It has been a top recruiting priority to find a floor general in the '06 class to join Mitch Johnson on The Farm, and the Cardinal may have found that man in Chicago. He's 6'5", athletic and comes from a basketball family...

If you live in the Chicagoland area, you undoubtedly know about King High School in the Chicago Public League.  And there is a good chance you have heard of the Jaguars' senior two-sport standout Da'veed Dildy.  The 6'5" 185-pound athlete has been best known locally as a football player, though his role in the passing game has garnered few headlines on a team that runs the ball.

"This is the Midwest, where you play Chicago Bears style football.  Grind it out," says father Garland Dildy.  "Da'veed was an All-City quarterback, and King won the Chicago Public League.  He was captain.  They had pretty good halfbacks, so he would pitch and hand it off to them.  He was recruited by Northwestern and had letters from Iowa and Minnesota.  The Ivy Leagues wanted him, too."

"But Da'veed is a basketball player first," the father continues.  "He can play the 'one,' the 'two' and the 'three.'  He's a multiple-position player.  He can score, pass and break the press.  And he's long and rangy."

More than just a proud father, Garland Dildy speaks about his son with an informed basketball perspective.  The elder Dildy is the head coach at Kennedy-King College in Chicago, one of the top junior college programs in the Midwest.  His brother and Da'veed's uncle is Tracy Dildy, a top Division I assistant coach at Ole Miss with previous tenures including Auburn and DePaul.  Uncle Daryl Dildy is the head coach at nearby Austin High School.  The Dildy clan is a basketball family, and a well-known one at that, in Chicago.  Despite his talent and success on the gridiron, it is no surprise that Da'veed Dildy will play on the hardcourt for his college future.

"Da'veed is a gym rat," his father says.  "He was a ball boy when he was in grammar school, and he has grown up playing with college kids."

Dildy is a name you have not seen on or any of the recruiting services, however, due in part to a decision the family made regarding his AAU basketball during the travel season.

"Da'veed could have played with the Illinois Warriors or the Illinois Fire," Garland Dildy explains.  "But we're really concerned about the attitude and techniques of some of those programs.  The way kids learn to play on those AAU teams these days gets away from the fundamentals we think are important to develop."

The younger Dildy instead played with the YVI ("Youth, Vision, Integrity") Illinois Rockets, which collected local kids and played in smaller regional events.  Da'veed Dildy never traveled to the big-name events in Las Vegas, California or Texas.

Ostensibly, that left the King High School standout underexposed.  Layered on top of his two-sport duties and subsequent basketball development, it was not a great surprise that Dildy passed on the fall signing period for a better spring signing opportunity.

"We don't worry about exposure because we know that the people who do their homework will find him," the father offers.

Garland Dildy was right.  His son is enjoying a banner season, averaging 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Jaguars, with the likes of Stanford, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Massachusetts and Illinois on the case.  The Illini in particular have picked up his recruitment vigorously of late.

"Once people have seen him and gotten interested, other people have become more interested.  You know how it goes," the Kennedy-King coach comments.  "Da'veed has turned it up this year a little bit with scoring more this year because his team requires that.  He's the kind of kid who will do whatever his team needs him to do."

"Stanford of course has the best of both worlds.  They have the best academics as well as the athletics out there in the Pac-10," the elder Dildy declares.  "We have a great relationship with Coach [Tony] Fuller and a lot of respect for Coach Trent [Johnson].  Stanford is one of his favorites.  Da'veed wants to play basketball with Coach Johnson and those guys."

The Chicago student-athlete is a model performer at Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School.  He carries a 3.8 GPA while holding down two sports, and he has raced ahead of his classmates in his coursework.  Dildy garnered enough credits to graduate from the school last year but decided to stay for his final year for "strength and maturity" and the opportunity to graduate with his class.  He currently is taking on a curriculum designed by his principal that has him working one-on-one with teachers in advanced subject areas.

"Stanford is going through the application process, and Da'veed will probably sign with them," the father forecasts.  "It's been a very good process, and we understand that it is not based on athletics.  Admission to Stanford is based on your scholarly work."

Many observers of Dildy's recruitment have asked the question about Ole Miss.  With the guard's uncle on the Rebels' staff, it would surprise nobody to see the King High School standout sign there.  The father, however, says that will not happen.

"Coach [Rod] Barnes came up and talked with him and liked him," Garland Dildy shares.  "But Da'veed does not want to go to Oxford, Mississippi.  If you had a choice between Oxford and Palo Alto, you'd go to Stanford."

While the younger Dildy awaits word on his admissions status and future on The Farm, he continues to put up big numbers and attract more suitors.  The Illini, who signed a pair of post players in the fall, appear to be the top competition.  Stanford signed three post players in November as well, and the long and athletic Dildy could fill a great need at the point guard position, where the Cardinal lose both Chris Hernandez and Jason Haas to graduation this spring.  We will keep a close eye on the emerging story of Da'veed Dildy, a late-arriving but rather intriguing piece to the 2006 recruiting puzzle for Stanford.

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