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Posted On: 03/22/18 1:17 PM
Corona Centennial guard Paris Dawson is one of those rare breeds of modern prep basketball players who takes pride on the defensive side of the ball.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore says he’s always been the kid picking up full-court, sitting in a defensive stance, sliding his feet, utilizing his active hands and making life tough for an opposing guard.
“Ever since I started playing travel ball with ARC when I was 8 years old, I’ve been a defender,” Dawson told Prep Hoops So-Cal. “I love defense and getting into someone and stopping them. It’s fun for me.”
Dawson locked up plenty of opponents this past season for the Huskies, whose youthful team finished with a 20-11 record and second round exit in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs, but showed plenty of promise throughout the year.
Dawson spoke with optimism when discussing how Centennial’s season shaped up.
“I love it at Centennial,” he said. “We have Jaylen Clark, D.J. Davis and a bunch of other pieces that fit in well around them. We’re a small team but I feel like we can make a lot of noise over the next few years.”
Dawson proved that he’s a crucial piece of coach Josh Giles’ youth movement.
He averaged 12.6 points, four rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals while playing in all 31 games. Dawson said some of the credit for his successful season belongs to his teammates.
“All the attention from other teams is on Jaylen and DJ, and teams are going to do whatever they can to stop them,” he said. “So when I get the open shot I try my best to hit it.”
Dawson shot 48-percent on two-point field goals, 83-percent from the free throw line, but one of his weaknesses was 3-point shooting, finishing the season shooting 28-percent (24 of 87) from deep.
“Right now I think the best parts of my game are my pull-up jumper and getting to the basket,” Dawson said. “I’m working on my 3-point shooting, getting more rebounds and assists.
“I want to improve on every part of my game,” he added. “I want to keep working hard and getting better every day.”