HUNTINGTON — John Dawson says he’s made his final stop on his West Virginia to Ohio to West Virginia to Ohio odyssey.
The former Huntington High School basketball star transferred to Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, from West Virginia State University. Dawson had transferred to West Virginia State after one season at Lakeland (Ohio) Community College, where he signed out of HHS.
“I was comfortable with the coaches because I had met them before and I trust everything they are telling me,” Dawson said of head coach Joseph Price and assistant Santonio Davis.
Those coaches recruited Dawson out of junior college.
“It hasn’t been too bad,” Dawson said of moving around. “It actually has been a little exciting because I met the coaches before while I was at juco and we talk almost every day.”
Last season as a sophomore, Dawson played in 25 games at West Virginia State and averaged 4.4 points and 1.5 rebounds per contest.
Dawson averaged about 12 minutes per game last season and expects that to increase at Central State, but knows he won’t be handed anything.
“As far as playing time goes, I don’t expect anything to be given to me and I’m going to earn everything I get,” Dawson said.
A 6-foot-1, 180-pound guard, Dawson performed well for the Yellowjackets. He scored 18 points against Bluefield State, grabbed five rebounds vs. Glenville State and handed out four assists against Livingstone in helping West Virginia State finish 19-10 overall, 13-9 in the Mountain East Conference.
At Lakeland Community College, Dawson started all 34 games in the 2018-19 season and averaged 16 points. He scored a season-high 34 vs. Sinclair Community College and issued a season-best eight assists vs. Owens Community College.
In Central State, Dawson joins a team that went 17-13 overall, 13-8 in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The NCAA Division II Marauders are in the league with Albany State, Benedict, Clark Atlanta, Fort Valley State, Kentucky State, Lane, LeMoyne-Owen, Miles, Morehouse, Paine, Savannah State, Spring Hill and Tuskegee.
Central State graduated both starting guards — Tom Johnson and Dreon Lewis.
Dawson, who said he will major in exercise science, said practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, but he is blessed with siblings Mikal and Jordyn Dawson, who play for the University of Akron men’s and women’s basketball teams, respectively.
“Working out definitely has been tough,” Dawson said. “I still go to some of the outside courts and get shots up.”
Dawson said he likes the opportunity for a fresh start.
“I can’t wait to get back to playing basketball and the way I enjoy playing it,” Dawson said.
Dawson won state championships with St. Joseph and Huntington High and was a first-team selection by the Associated Press and an all-Tri-State pick by The Herald-Dispatch.