Get ready to be impressed.
Christian Vaughn-Dawkins is a 17-year old senior at Saginaw High School in Michigan and is responsible for bringing the weekend’s biggest high school basketball game to his hometown.
National Player of the Year candidates Jared Sullinger and Ray McCallum Jr. will square off Saturday night at Delta College in Saginaw as part of the Dorian Dawkins Show Your Heart Memorial Classic.
Sullinger, a 6-foot-9 Ohio State signee, and national No. 2 Northland (Columbus, Ohio) take on McCallum Jr. – a top unsigned guard – and No. 22 Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.) to headline a two-day, four-game slate.
Vaughn-Dawkins started the event as a way to honor his late brother Dorian Dawkins, a budding basketball star that passed tragically at the age of 14 last June after collapsing in a game.
“When he first passed I heard a saying, ‘A person never dies unless they are forgotten,’” Vaughn-Dawkins said. “I will never, ever forget him.
Vaughn-Dawkins is also a part-time starter at guard for the Trojans, serving as a defensive stopper and spark off the bench for coach and father Lou Dawkins, an accomplished figure on the sidelines that has led Saginaw to a pair of state championships. But he won’t be distracted by added responsibilities this weekend. Not surprisingly, he planned for that.
“I knew the Northland and Detroit Country Day game would be hectic, so I made sure to schedule us on Sunday,” Vaughn-Dawkins said.
The Trojans tackle Flint Powers Catholic at 3 p.m. to close out the second day of action.
The Show Your Heart Memorial Classic isn’t Vaughn-Dawkins’ first event. He organized and ran the Showdown in the Valley last summer and has plans for at least four other showcase events or tournaments under the banner of his own company, Living Out Your Dreams Enterprises.
He also serves as director of operations for the AAU club Dorian’s Pride, ran a recruiting service as a youngster and contributes to a magazine. Not a bad resume for a 17-year old.
Vaughn-Dawkins is following the same path as another basketball prodigy. Not a player, but 32-year old University of Memphis head coach Josh Pastner, who was coaching and directing AAU teams in the Houston area at the age of 16.
“It’s funny, I got a text from a friend and he said Josh Pastner and I are the same person,” said Vaughn-Dawkins, who aspires to be a college head coach. “I didn’t know about him before, but we are kind of alike.”
Saginaw is a perennial state championship contender in Michigan. Despite an 8-4 record, 2010 will be no different.
“We have the talent to win a state championship,” Vaughn-Dawkins said matter-of-factly.
East Lansing faces Detroit Consortium at 6 p.m. to open the Classic on Saturday, followed by Northland-Detroit Country Day at 8 p.m. Sunday begins with Clarkston vs. Academy of Oak Park at noon followed by Saginaw’s matchup at 3 p.m.
If college coaching doesn’t work out for Vaughn-Dawkins, broadcasting definitely will. He delivered a thorough and polished breakdown (watch out Seth Davis) on all eight teams that will take the court at Delta College this weekend.
More Information: Dorian Dawkins Show Your Heart Memorial Classic official site