Late blooming senior guides Rockets to strong start

Published:

by Colin Harris | Reporter

Reggie Dublin very much started from the bottom.

Just 12 months ago, the lightly-used Streetsboro junior guard split time between varsity and junior varsity for the Rockets' boys basketball team. By season's end, Dublin had appeared in just 10 varsity games and scored a grand total of four points.

But while many athletes would take that kind of role as a sign that the bright lights of Friday basketball might not be in the cards, Dublin was determined to make a splash in his senior year.

Something certainly changed for Dublin during the offseason as the senior amazingly went from that guy on the end of the bench to starter, team captain and the team's third leading scorer on a team that is undefeated in PTC County Division play.

Streetsboro head coach Nick Marcini explained why such a major factor on his team barely saw the court during his junior season.

"Reggie was a JV guy for us last year, but it was never a matter of athleticism or ability," Marcini said. "Reggie was just not there yet, strength-wise. But he put the time in and he got stronger in the offseason. He wants [success] really, really bad and it shows."

Dublin is a vital piece of the puzzle for Streetsboro this season, scoring 10.5 points per game to go along with 2.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.5 steals.

Dublin even wasted little time making an impact this season, scoring 16 points in the first game of the season -- a 72-57 victory over Crestwood.

So how exactly does someone manage to transform themselves into a player with a legitimate college future in less than a year?

The answer is simple: Dublin put in the time.

"I really worked out hard this summer, working with a weight vest, jumping rope and taking a lot of shots with my dad," Dublin said. "[Marcini] made me feel like I had to earn my spot this season, so I knew what I had to be willing to do whatever it took to earn this.

"The first game [against Crestwood], I went out there and said to myself that I was going to step up and do my best," Dublin added. "I'm going to play my role and I'm going to help my team and get the win."

The move to make the unproven Dublin a captain is looking like a genius move by Marcini and his coaching staff as the affable senior is everything a coach could want from a leader.

"Reggie is a great kid for a lot of reasons, but he's very coachable," Marcini said. "As a teammate, he's fun to be around. He's always smiling and is always asking what he can do to get better. It's really a breath of fresh air because I've had the opposite of that kind of player before."

Marcini and his coaching staff are not the only ones who have taken notice of Dublin's remarkable rise as a number of area colleges have come calling for the talented student athlete.

Dublin said that he has not settled on a college yet, but he has formed a strong relationship with Westminster College, a Division III program based in New Wilmington, Pa.

Dublin, who has a 4.0 grade point average, said the opportunity to play college basketball and pursue a top-notch education is something that has motivated him to be the best.

"I've formed a good relationship with the coaches there and I'm about to go on an [overnight official visit] at the school," said Dublin, who would like to be a corporate lawyer in the future. "They told me that they really liked me as an athlete and as a student, but I know that I need to keep getting better.

"I'm making the most of this opportunity because I know that I came way from the bottom."

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