BY GENE NARDI
Wellington shooting guard Alex Dieudonne graduated in the spring and signed a letter of intent to continue his basketball career at Clayton State University in Georgia.
The 6-foot-4 Dieudonne chose the Lakers over other offers from Stetson University, Kennesaw State, Queens University, The Citadel and Lincoln Memorial University.
“The coach came down to visit me several times, and we talked about stuff other than basketball,” Dieudonne recalled. “He wanted to get to know me as a person, and I like that a lot.”
The standout guard won accolades during his three-year tenure with the Wolverines. He helped lead the Wellington High School team to three district titles, three conference titles, a regional crown and the state championship his junior year.
“He wasn’t the team captain, but he was our leader,” Wellington coach Matt Colin said. “He was the voice everybody listened to and was the reason for a lot of our success.”
Dieudonne managed to earn recognition as All-County First Team while he dressed in the blue, silver and white, and also made appearances in three all-star games his senior year.
In that final year, Dieudonne averaged 17.6 points per game with 7.5 rebounds — a definite force moving toward the net, and under the net as well. “He is so gifted physically, and was able to get to the bucket for us,” Colin said.
Dieudonne would agree that his strength is getting to the basket, but his attention this summer has been focused on working to improve his ball-handling skills and his jump shot.
He has matured through his career with the Wolverines and said that he is ready for the challenge to play college basketball.
“I got past the nerves; I’ve been training,” Dieudonne said. “I’m physically and mentally ready.”
Perhaps playing in so many big games for the Wolverines has helped carve him into the confident leader he is today.
“You have to give 110 percent in every practice and every game,” he said.
Colin expects to see big things from Dieudonne. “I think he will see playing time as a freshman, and he will eventually flourish,” Colin said.
Dieudonne embarks on his new career Aug. 12 but is undecided on a major. He has expressed interest in business and sports management.
“I’d like to stay connected to the game in a hands-on capacity after college,” he said. “I would love to play in the NBA, but maybe coaching could be something I could fall back on.”
Dieudonne is looking forward to the fast-pace style of play at Clayton State and hopes to be an early contributor. His advice to the younger student-athletes who have the desire to play at the next level is, “Give 110 percent always, and listen to the coach,” he said. “He knows what he is doing, and he helped me a lot.”
To follow Dieudonne and the Clayton State University Lakers, visit www.claytonstatesports.com.
ABOVE: Alex Dieudonne goes up for a slam dunk against rival Palm Beach Central.