RA’s Dabney signs with Wave

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2011



RESERVE — Riverside guard Louis Dabney has been one of the most sought after recruits in Louisiana, but his college destination is now official.

Dabney signed his National Letter of Intent with Tulane Wednesday morning, sealing the deal on a commitment he made over the summer to coach Ed Conroy’s Green Wave.

“I feel good and I feel relieved,” said Dabney. “I finally know that I’ll be playing Division I basketball. I can put the (recruiting) process behind me and concentrate on this season and becoming a better player.

Dabney held off on signing at the beginning of college’ basketball’s early signing period, fueling speculation that he might not be Wave-bound after all. But after discussing the situation with his family, he reaffirmed his desire to play at Tulane.

“I wanted to sit down with my parents and make sure the decision was right for me,” he said. “That it was what I wanted and what they wanted too. And it is.”

Said Riverside coach Timmy Byrd, “I’m extremely proud and happy for him. I know how much he wanted to play at the next level. I’m really excited for him and for Riverside, the school and the community.”

Dabney said that the Green Wave’s style of play was a big draw for him.

“I’m not going to lie, I doubted them at first. But I watched them play, saw what coach Conroy has done with the program … I like it. I like their offense and the way he coaches. It’s a wide open offense and I think that’s something that’s a fit for me.”

Dabney averaged 18 points per game last season for the Class 2A champion Rebels. The 6-foot-3 guard has been a part of three state championship teams, two at Riverside and another as a freshman at Reserve Christian.

He’s expected to play as a point guard with the Wave. Dabney has played largely the shooting guard position for the Rebels, but he’s been running the point for Riverside this preseason with usual starter Lucas Martin still a part of the football team’s playoff run.

“The way he’s distributing the ball, he’s really come along in that regard,” said Byrd. “He’s seeing the floor well.”

Dabney is regarded as a top two-way player, his offensive gifts matched by his strong play at the defensive end.

As a freshman, Dabney was named his district’s Defensive Player of the Year, and he’s remained one of the chief reasons Riverside’s pressure defensive system is so effective.

“When Louis came in with us as a freshman, we had a number of older players who were extremely skilled (offensively). We didn’t really need another. We needed a physical, defensive-minded guy. He understood that and he did what he needed to do to play.

“That’s a big reason that I think he’s got a chance to play and even start early for Tulane. He’s willing to do what he needs to do to get on the floor.”

Dabney said that his defensive mindset largely comes from his competitive nature.

“I didn’t like not being able to keep up with my competition,” said Dabney.

The Rebels have recently been ranked 12th nationally by USA Today and 18th by ESPN.

Dabney said that he and his teammates have set their eyes on more than another state championship.

“We want to win state of course, but our main goal is to bring home a national championship,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for. We feel like we’ve got the team to get it done.”