Posted On: 04/30/18 9:00 PM

Dawson Garcia of Prior Lake has top 50 level potential and his offers are starting to resemble that talent.  Today’s scholarship offer?  From the hometown Minnesota Gophers and Head Coach Richard Pitino.

The Gopher staff has been a regular at the D1 Minnesota 16 and Under games to see Garcia as well as teammate Ben Carlson, who also received an offer from the Golden Gophers this afternoon.  Richard Pitino saw Garcia play three times on Saturday and has now offered a player who is excited to receive the local option.

“It’s a childhood dream to get an offer from your hometown team that you grew up watching and hearing about,” Dawson said. “I am super excited to build a good relationship with coach Pitino and the whole Gopher staff.”

Dawson has been to a number of Gopher games at Williams Arena as a guest of Minnesota and the atmosphere of The Barn has stayed with Garcia. Next up for the Gopher staff is to build a relationship with the 6-foot-10 Garcia.

“The Barn is one of the best atmospheres to play in and I have seen the campus from the outside countless times and it looks very nice,” Dawson said.  “On the court (the Gophers) also move the ball very well and rebound the ball good.

“With Ben (Johnson) leaving I am not familiar with their staff. However they all seem really cool and I’m looking forward to building a good relationship with them.”

Garcia recently visited Xavier – where Ben Johnson is now an assistant coach – and Butler on unofficial trips before the first weekend of the NCAA open period.  Both schools offered scholarships after the visits and left a lasting impression.

“What stood out was how warm and welcoming all the coaches were,” said Garcia of the staffs at Xavier and Butler.  “They all treated me like one of their own players and I built a very good relationship with them during the visits.

“Both schools also have had crazy amounts of success. They both are a legitimate threat to win a national championship each year. I also liked how they showed me the facilities I would be in for school after I told them my education interests.”

Dawson’s other offers are from Baylor, and the first offer came from Texas. All five of his offers as well as all of the interest from other schools has really made Dawson feel excited for his future.

“It feels great to receive interest from schools and I feel very blessed to experience this ride that not everyone gets to experience. I’ve always wanted to be one of the top players in the nation and countless hours in the gym and a strong supporting cast has got me where I am today.”

Garcia is coming off of a 22 point per game season leading Prior Lake into the top ten of Class AAAA basketball in Minnesota.  Dawson is well spoken but he also competes as hard as anyone playing with an edge.  That edge has helped Garcia take the D1 Minnesota 16s into the top 25 rankings nationally.

“I love the team I am apart of,” Dawson said.  “D1 Minnesota has done a great job of bringing us super close together. It’s kind of crazy how badly I want each member on our team to succeed and do well because they are like my brothers now.

“We have had such a great start because we simply picked up where we left off. We also added a great addition to the team that has helped us a lot. We move the ball very well and make good shots great shots.”