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Dumas impresses at adidas Basketball Experience
For immediate release . . . September 10, 2007

NEW ORLEANS — Harold Ellis, the Atlanta Hawks' minor league coordinator and scout, wanted to give proper credit.

"Let's give Shaun Dumas a hand," Ellis told a group of players in early August at the conclusion of the adidas Basketball Experience. "Let's give him a hand for coming out here from a small school and working hard and doing a good job."

Shaun Dumas

Shaun Dumas drives to the hoop at the adidas Basketball Experience (photo by Irving Johnson III)
   Ellis could relate. Like Dumas, Ellis played at a non-NCAA Division I institution and an HBCU (Historically Black College and University). Ellis competed at Atlanta's Morehouse College and never was drafted by an NBA team, but he played three NBA seasons in the '90s and scored 29 points in a game against the Boston Celtics.

Dumas — a 5-doot-11 junior guard on the men's team at Xavier University of Louisiana, an NAIA Division I and HBCU institution — was a late roster addition to the adidas Basketball Experience August 3-7 in suburban Westwego, La. The event showcased male amateur U.S. and foreign players in a series of games at the Alario Center. U.S. players included UCLA junior guard Darren Collison and freshman forward Kevin Love, the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year in 2006-07; Kansas junior guard Mario Chalmers, the Big 12 Conference leader in steals this past season; and Texas sophomore guard D.J. Augustin, a former standout at New Orleans' Brother Martin High School who led the Big 12 in assists. Collison and Love were teammates of Dumas in all six games he played.

In short, Dumas was in heady company.

"I wasn't expecting it," Dumas said of Ellis' comments and the ensuing applause from his peers. "It made me feel good. I thanked God for having the opportunity."

Two other observers said Dumas, a New Orleanian and a 2004 graduate of St. Augustine High School, made the most of his opportunity.

"Shaun represented himself and Xavier well," said Randy Livingston, a native New Orleanian and former national prep player of the year who has spent 11 years in the NBA and coached Dumas during the adidas event. "He did everything I asked him to do. He proved himself against some of the best guys in the country. He played all 94 feet and got his teammates involved."

Aggrey Sam, a writer for slamonline.com, called Dumas one of the 10 players who impressed him most. "The quickest player on the court, an intense full-court defender and a supreme set-up man, don't be surprised if you hear more about him in the near future," Sam wrote.

Dumas has been building his basketball resumé since his arrival at Xavier. He was the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2004-05, averaged 6.7 points per game and led NAIA Division I with 106 steals. Xavier did not compete in athletics in 2005-06 because of the effects of Hurricane Katrina, but Dumas showed no adverse affects from the layoff. He averaged 13.2 points this past season and ranked among the national top five in assists and steals. His 2006-07 honors included third-team NAIA All-American and Louisiana Small College Player of the Year.

"If he gets into the right situation, he could play professionally," Livingston said. "It only takes one coach to like you."

Dumas called the event a great and valuable experience.

"I gained a lot more confidence," Dumas said, "but I also learned I have to work a lot harder than I have been."

His goal for 2007-08 is to become a most consistent jump-shooter — he shot 43 percent from the floor and 39 percent (29 of 74) from 3-point range this past season — and use what he learned in August to the benefit of the Gold Rush.

"I learned how to set up players better, how to change pace and how to use the ball screen better," Dumas said. "I learned a lot of things that will make me a better player."

Dumas will need those skills Nov. 2, when he matches up against Augustin and the Longhorns in an exhibition game at Texas.

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
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The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

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