By JONATHAN SPEES
“The first time I ever played basketball was on a Fisher Price toy basketball hoop,” UMW senior basketball player Tad Dickman said.” So although my first recorded dunk was my sophomore year of high school as a Lee Lancer; my first real dunk was as a two year old.”
That was the start of Dickman’s love for basketball. He started playing organized hoops when he was five years old and has continued his career ever since. Dickman went onto play three years of high school basketball at Lee High School in Springfield, Va. Though he also played football and soccer for the Lancers, basketball was always Dickman’s highest passion.
Now Dickman is entering his fourth and final season for the Eagles’ basketball team. He’s coming off a year where he averaged 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, and Dickman will look to build on that as the team tries to take the next step.
“We are a very strong, cohesive team and there is no reason why we can’t have a successful, winning season,” Dickman said. “We are bringing back our core unit and finished 16-10 last year, but we have a few new strong players and we know we can improve on that.”
One of the biggest changes for Dickman’s senior year is the new gymnasium that he will be competing in. The William M. Anderson Center opened just before the fall semester, and Dickman sounds more than pleased with the new facility.
“The Anderson Center is an incredible complex and I’m really excited to open the season in there,” Dickman said. “It’s a step up from Goolrick and I know the whole team is excited and we hope the fans come out in full force.”
Dickman’s roommate and teammate, fellow senior Ryan Farrar, offered some insight on what makes Dickman so successful and why the pair have such a good rapport on the court.
“Tad is a charismatic player and person, and his drive on the court is mirrored by his academic drive in the classroom,” Farrar said. “Since we’re such good friends we have a great chemistry that allows us to play off each other really well.”
Dickman isn’t just well respected by his teammates, but even fellow UMW athletes from other sports appreciate Tad’s dedication to his craft.
“Tad is a great player and is one of the reasons I enjoy going to basketball games,” junior soccer player Matt Alter said. “I’ve gotten to know Tad pretty well over my three years here and it is because of his determination on and off the court that makes him such a strong player.”
With the men’s basketball season kicking off at home on Friday, Dickman’s final year inches closer to beginning. Standing just shy of six feet, six inches tall, Dickman will rotate between the power forward and center positions for Head Coach Rod Wood this season. Dickman is the main contributor of the four seniors on Mary Washington’s roster, which means he’ll have big responsibilities both with his play and as a leader. The senior will surely be a big factor in the Eagles success in 2011-2012.