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Oswego East Student Athlete of the Week: Derek Dorsey

Jan 31, 2017 01:28PM ● Published by Zac Sadek

Senior Derek Dorsey isn’t the guy who’s going to fill up the stat sheet with points, or come up with wildly athletic dunks that explode on social media.  

However, his willingness to be a vocal leader during a rough stretch, take a charge to energize his team, or come up with a big play when needed is why he is this week’s Oswego East student athlete of the week.

Very few athletes, regardless of their talent level or sport, can lay claim to being a two time captain.  His position as the consummate leader of the boys’ basketball team two years running shows just what type of teammate and person Derek is for his teammates.

Having played competitive basketball since age nine, Derek’s love for the sport quickly grew into a competitive and fiery spirit he displays in all parts of his game.  Averaging 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal per game is enough to qualify him as a well-rounded player, but it is his team lead in charges taken that show just how much he understands the game, and how committed he is to his teammates.  

Head coach Steve Szymanski says, “[Derek] is the type of player that will do anything to help the team.”

Derek’s growth as a player and a person is exactly what coaches, teachers, and parents hope for in a young person.  As the second of four children, Derek has had a sibling to look up to, and siblings for which to set an example.  Derek’s mother, Catrina Dorsey, is proud of the way her son has grown since his freshman year at East.  

“Since his freshman year, Derek has become a more well-rounded student and individual by developing positive relationships with both staff and peers, and has begun to take an interest in larger community issues,” says Catrina. She goes on to add, “I would say I am most proud that Derek is growing into a confident young man who is of strong moral character.”

Derek’s leadership does not end on the court, as he is also a strong student who sports a 3.4 G.P.A, is enrolled in challenging courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) Stats and AP Environmental Science, and scored an 1110 on his SAT and a 21 on his ACT.

One of Derek’s favorite class activities is debating and discussion in class.  Derek’s Contemporary Literature teacher, Erin Sudberry, has grown to rely on Derek to help engage his classmates and lead discussions.  

“[Derek] challenges his classmates in a way that gets them to rethink their statements without making them feel badly about it, and is good at reminding his peers to stay focused when they need it,” says Erin.

Derek, who also serves as a freshman seminar leader for Mrs. Sudberry, has the personality that makes him relatable to students of all backgrounds and ages.  

“[Derek] is always positive and polite,” says Erin.  She goes on to add, “He has a good rapport with all of his classmates, a great sense of humor, and is focused when he needs to be, which is a nice balance.”

The Wolves currently sit at 11-8 on the year, highlighted by Derek helping lead the team to an 8-1 start, their best in five years.  In line with his personality, when asked what personal goals Derek has for the year, he says, “Be a good teammate overall.”

Derek is still open to choosing a college, but has his heart set on majoring in communications.  
Coach Szymanski has no doubt that wherever Derek goes and whatever career path he chooses, he will find success, saying,

“Derek is an excellent student who is very driven both on and off the court, and will be a great college student and an excellent and successful employee when he is older.”  

As the basketball season rushes to the playoffs and Derek’s senior year and high school career quickly comes to a close, we wish him and teammates the best on the rest of the season, as well as their futures.
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