LACEY -- Not once, but twice, Donaven Dorsey paused while speaking during his signing day ceremony inside Timberline High School’s auxiliary gymnasium to gather his composure.
Achieving his dream of playing Division I basketball for the University of Washington took years of work and months of stress, but the flood of emotion didn’t come until Blazers coach Allen Thomas spoke of Dorsey’s achievements and when it came time for Dorsey to give thanks to his parents, Donald and Dianne.
“I tried to hold in it,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey, along side with parents and older brother, D.J., was joined by more than 100 Timberline students and faculty to celebrate what he called “a really big accomplishment” on Wednesday afternoon.
He’s officially a Husky.
The day didn’t come without some day-of jitters, as he thought back over the years to how he got to this point and playing for a Pac-12 program he grew up watching.
“It’s been a rollercoaster,” Dorsey said. “A lot of reminiscing about freshman year, sophomore year, junior year and now, and how much I’ve grown up.”
UW coach Lorenzo Romar, who Dorsey said built a strong relationship with him and his family during the recruiting process and was seen in-person at many Timberline basketball games last winter, addressed the media Wednesday to speak about his first Class of 2014 signees, which also features 6-foot-10 forward Tristan Etienne of Abbotsford, B.C.
Romar called the 6-7, 195-pound Dorsey a “very rangy, versatile wing” with strong ball-handling skills.
“He’s a prototypical Husky wing,” Romar said.
Dorsey is the second basketball player from Timberline to sign with a Division I program in three years, joining Sasha Weber (New Mexico State women’s basketball) in 2011. Last March, he led the Blazers to the Class 3A state tournament, the team’s first state appearance since 2004, and averaged 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists a game.
Now that his college commitment is finalized, he's got bigger items on his agenda.
“We’re trying to make it even father (at state) than we did last year,” Dorsey said.
METS TO OREGON STATE
Recent tradition-rich Oregon State was what Ryan Mets wanted to be apart of.
The North Thurston High senior signed to play baseball for the Pacific-12 Beavers, a program that won back-to-back College World Series in 2006 and '07, and five consecutive appearances in Omaha, Neb., including last spring after winning the Pac-12 title.
But in addition to the success, the main part of his reason for choosing Oregon State was what he called a “top-of-the-line” coaching staff, led by head coach Pat Casey.
“They’ve got such a great thing going on there in Corvallis,” Mets said.
Mets is North Thurston’s first Division I signee in more than a decade and not since Leslie Erickson signed with USC for track and field in 2000.
A southpaw pitcher known for a nasty breaking ball, Mets took his official on-campus visit two weekend ago, highlighted by watching the Oregon State-Stanford football game and getting a true day-in-the-life of a Division I collegiate baseball player.
“I was at the point down there where I was so comfortable,” said Mets, who went 7-1 with a 2.13 ERA and 76 strikeouts last spring, “I didn’t want to come back (to Lacey).”
South Sound Signees
Wednesday is the first day of the fall early letter-of-intent signing period for high school athletes. Here's a list of athletes who have, or are planning to sign letters of intent during the fall signing period. February is when football signing day is as well as another signing day in April.
|Ryan Mets, North Thurston, Baseball, Oregon State|
|Donaven Dorsey, Timberline, Men’s basketball, Washington|
|Alyssa Ubrun, Tumwater, Softball, Colorado State-Pueblo|
|Mattalynn Boucher, W.F.West, Softball, Concordia (Ore.)|
|Jensyn McCoy, Black Hills, Volleyball, Central Washington|
|Riley Podowicz, Timberline, Volleyball, Alaska-Fairbanks|
|Kylie Bishopp, Tumwater, Volleyball, Davidson|
|Hannah St. Jean, Olympia, Volleyball, Franklin Pierce|
|Sofia Kane, Olympia, Women’s cross country, Yale|
|Sarah McGee, Black Hills, Women’s basketball, Southern Utah|
|Nike McClure, W.F. West, Women’s basketball, Washington State|
|Logan Cox, Capital, Women’s soccer, Vanderbilt|