Riverside’s Dabney decides on Wave

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 5, 2011



RESERVE — For the second time in less than a week, a Riverside basketball player declared where his next stop will be, as All-State guard Louis Dabney committed to Tulane this week.

“I was a Tulane baby,” Dabney said with a laugh, noting he was born at Tulane Hospital. “It’s close to home and I really like the atmosphere, the coaches, the players there … I committed early because I knew that was my school. I wanted to get the process out of the way.”

Said Riverside coach Timmy Byrd: “I know Tulane is ecstatic. They got a high major player.”

Now a senior, Dabney was reportedly being recruited by LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Louisiana Tech, Wyoming and Georgia Tech, among others.

He said that he plans to study sports medicine at the school.

After the graduation of All-State guard Cedric Jenkins in 2010, Dabney took the opportunity for an increased role and ran. Already a stellar defensive player, the 6-foot-3-inch Dabney averaged 18 points and six rebounds per game last season for the Class 2A champion Rebels.

“He’s 6-2, 6-3, and really big at guard. He’s imposing as a high school guard,” said Byrd. “He’s going to be a real handful for opposing teams in his senior year.”

Already adept at taking finishing at the basket and drawing fouls, Dabney improved as a marksman from 3-point range last season. Further improvement in that area, Byrd said, will give his star the total package.

“If he becomes that really consistent 3-point shooter, then he’s got the whole game,” said Byrd. “He’s one of those players who, every year, you want to see improve at something, and he’ll do it.”

Last week, forward Ricardo Gathers committed to play at St. John’s. He, Dabney and four other top senior prospects (Donald Thomas, Lucas Martin, Zelvin Smith and John Lewis) make Riverside not only the overwhelming favorites to win a third straight Class 2A crown, but a team that can do considerable damage on the national level as well.

Byrd said that, as was the case with Gathers, he was surprised the decision came so soon, but that he didn’t believe one had anything to do with the other.

“I think that was just coincidental,” Byrd said of the two commitments coming within a week. I’m surprised he didn’t go through the whole process, but I’m not surprised he’s going to Tulane. I knew they were high on his list.”

Dabney said that Tulane coach Ed Conroy showed early and often that he wanted the guard on board, and it made an impression.

“He was really persistent and it showed me that he wanted me to be part of the program,” he said.

He noted he liked the style of play and the types of players being recruited. Dabney has been playing with a number of Tulane players this summer.

“You can see everyone buying into what they’re doing, and it makes you want to buy in so much more,” he said. “I want to help them become a winning program, to bring it back to what it was years ago.”