Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dion Waiters- It's All About the Orange

South Kent Prep (CT) constantly produces premiere basketball players, and it's got a number of them right now. One of them who stands out is rising junior Dion Waiters, a 6'3 guard. The class of 2010 stud has already committed to the Syracuse Orange, and he quite excited for the opportunity to play for Jim Boeheim at SU. I spoke with Dion at the Southern Jam Fest after his Team Final (PA) U-17 team picked up a win in Gold Bracket play.

NB: What led to your decision to commit to Syracuse?
DW: First because, I just want to play for a Hall of Fame coach, and he lets the guards go, so I feel comfortable in the offense.

NB: [Does] their lack of postseason success over the last two years concern you at all?
DW: No because that’s why I feel as though I can go there and . . . make the [NCAA] Tournament and yeah, I just want to play with Syracuse.

NB: Is there any truth to the [rumor] that you’re going to head back to Roman Catholic [in Pennsylvania] next year?
DW: Roman? No, I . . . got options, but Roman [is] up there, but I don’t know yet, I [am not] focused on that right now.

NB: Are you definitely not going back to South Kent?
DW: That’s my last option, but if I got to go back, I’ll go back.

NB: What led to that happening, to you choosing that you don’t want to be back there?
DW: [Raphael] Chillious was a great coach, and the program, it’s not really . . . like that [way it was] with Chillious [anymore]. . . . Chillious was a great coach for me, [and it was a] good experience for me, but first year of [high school] basketball. When he left, the team just fell apart.

NB: What do you consider to be the strongest point of your game?
DW: I can do everything: rebound, pass, score, [get] my teammates involved. I can do it all.

NB: What are you going to need to work on the most over the next two years?
DW: Moving without the ball.

NB: Were you always planning on committing in your sophomore year, a little bit earlier on, or is that something that just kind of happened?
DW: It just happened honestly. . . . I don’t know how it happened, but it happened.

NB: What were some of the other schools you were thinking about?
DW: I don’t even know.

NB: It was always Syracuse [that you were thinking about]?
DW: No, I had some [other] schools, but . . . I didn’t really care, I wasn’t paying attention [to] the schools, and plus, no coach came to me and told me that other schools [are] looking at me, and when I went to Syracuse’s camp in like seventh grade, it was crazy, it was awesome. I really . . . enjoyed it.

NB: What do think the difference is going to be between playing at the prep level and if you do [end up] attending a regular high school next year?
DW: Prep school is a lot [more] physical and [of] course [because of] . . . prep players. It was a good experience for me, though. It helped my game out a lot, like [with] my weakness, what I had to work on.

NB: What’s it like for you playing up a year on the AAU level?
DW: It’s great, I love AAU. You go everywhere and you [are with] your teammates all day. It’s fun.

I caught up with Dion yesterday and he told me that he is still unsure of what high school he will attend next year. Regardless of where he ends up, Waiters will showcase his game in front of throngs of onlookers coming to see the next star at Syracuse. Dion will need to continue to progress over the next two seasons to be successful in the Big East, and he likely will do so, as it appears he will head a quality basketball school no matter what. Waiters is ready to be a part of Syracuse lore, and the Syracuse program is excited to be getting a star in the backcourt.

Note- photo is from


Anonymous said...

We can't wait for Waiters to do his thing in the Dome.

OTTO said...

I hope Johnny Flynn is still at the 'CUSE (and not in the NBA already) when Waiters arrives. Would love to see that combo in the backcourt!