For decades, the DMV has been a hotbed for basketball talent. From Kevin Durant to Victor Oladipo to Rebekkah Brunson, the region has been home to some of the world's best basketball players, and that doesn't look to end anytime soon. So, who's next? Throughout the week, NBC Sports Washington will answer that question, taking look at the next crop of players creating a buzz in the DMV.
In DeMatha’s Hunter Dickinson, the Michigan Wolverines are getting a true big man who has the skill to do it all. At 7-foot-2, 257 pounds, Dickinson is a strong rebounder and adequate rim protector. On offense, he’s a good passer who finishes with touch around the rim and has the range to make shots from distance.
“Everybody likes to call him an old-school post man because he truly embraces being someone who plays on the block,” DeMatha head coach Mike Jones said. “And he definitely has that, but I think the underrated part of Hunter’s game is his ability to play out and away from the basket. His ability to see the floor and pass so well; his IQ is so high.
“I think everything he has done at the high school level, he will be able to do in college because he is one of the smartest basketball players I’ve ever coached, so he will have no problem adjusting. As he gets stronger and gets in the best shape he can possibly be in, Hunter will be just as good as he was in high school. He’ll be able to play that well in college.”
Wolverines fans hope Hunter can bring to Ann Arbor similar levels of the team and person success he experienced in Hyattsville. In his four seasons at DeMatha, Dickinson helped lead the Stags to two WCAC championships. He earned first team all-conference honors his final three seasons and was named WCAC Player of the Year his senior campaign.
“Hunter was someone who got better each and every year,” Jones said. “He’s someone who got it done in the classroom and performed at a very high level on the court. He was a leader and graduated as our student body president. He’s what DeMatha is all about.”
In Juwan Howard’s inaugural season as head coach, the Wolverines were 19-12 overall and 10-10 in Big Ten play before the coronavirus pandemic canceled postseason play. Michigan’s 2020-21 roster will boast a pair of experienced senior bigs in Austin Davis and Jaron Faulds, but with the graduation of Jon Teske and transfer of Colin Castleton to Florida, there is a hole in the roster that Dickinson could step in and fill.
“Hunter’s IQ will get him on the court with no problem. Being 7-2 doesn’t hurt, but just the fact that he knows how to play the game will allow him to be effective,” Jones said. “He’s used to playing with four other really good players, so that won’t be an adjustment for him – that’s what a lot of other college freshmen struggle with, just the adjustment of not being ‘the guy.’ Hunter is used to playing with four other really good players, so his ability to adjust to that will truly have him ready to be an impact player from day one.”
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