Posted On: 08/3/18 8:00 AM

Dawson Garcia of Prior Lake and D1 Minnesota is approaching five star status.  Prep Hoops caught up with Garcia in Chicago to discuss the summer and recruiting. 

“July went great as we started it off winning the Gauntlet series in New York,” Garcia explained.  “Then we went to California and came up short in the championship game against Indiana Elite, the same team we lost to in the championship game the week before.  We thought we had that game but we came up short, you hate to lose as a competitor but we got over it.”

Garcia spent his sophomore season averaging 21.7 points per game pushing Prior Lake into the top five of the Class AAAA rankings in Minnesota a year earlier than many expected them to have that level of success.

A big reason for that success was the maturation of Garcia as a player.  Dawson is a skilled player that can face up out to the arc but he also has agility and a fire to him. 

“If I have a bigger guy on me I like to pull him outside, use my handles and if he’s playing off shoot a jumper over him but if I have smaller guy on me I like to punish them inside.  I like to get out and run in the open floor with the ball seeing my teammates and facilitating.  That’s when basketball gets really fun.”

As a top 30 player in the nation Dawson has offers from Minnesota, Marquette, Wisconsin, Butler, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Iowa, and Xavier.  

“Recruiting has been really fun,” Garcia said.  “Right now it’s been picking up a lot.  I got some new schools showing interest.  There have been ten schools that have offered and they have consistently been talking to me, and of the 20 or 25 schools that are talking to me, they have consistently been recruiting me as a I regularly see their faces at games.  It’s cool to see all of their support.

“It means a lot when schools travel to see us.  It means a lot when a coach came to Chicago as it was strictly to see us (D1 Minnesota 16s) play as their is a big tournament in Las Vegas right now.”

Of that group of 10 offers/20-25 showing interest, Dawson also listed the programs he’s hearing from the most.

“Of all the schools that have offered, they have all been in contact, nobody has really been talking to me the most. They talk to me daily and want to get me on the phone to see how my day has been.”

The first offer to Garcia was from Texas and he will be visiting them in September. 

“I am going to take a visit to Texas on September 22nd,” Dawson said.  “I have a great connection with Coach (Neill) Barry. He went from Iowa State to now Texas.  He was recruiting me at Iowa State and then meeting Shaka Smart, he seems like a great coach.  Obviously he has high end connections, he’s the real deal as a coach.  I’m excited to further my relationship with him.

The Minnesota Gophers staff has been regulars in contact with Dawson since offering Garcia early last spring.  

“Coach Richard Pitino is a great guy, Coach Ben Johnson was my main recruiter before but he left for Xavier, now Coach Kyle Lindsted has done a great job picking that up, I have built a great relationship with him.  It’s a great coaching staff with a great new facility that they put in and it would be a blessing to play at The Barn someday so we will see what happens.”

Of course with Ben Johnson having the connection to Dawson from his time at Minnesota, Xavier offered Dawson a scholarship once Johnson arrived at his new program.  Garcia has already visited Xavier once. 

“I have that connection with Ben Johnson,” Garcia said.  “I already knew him, and the new coach Travis Steele, I really like what he is doing and I think he is going to do a great job.  I expect him to pick Xavier up and have them right where they left off.”

Garcia has been active in taking visits and he plans to take more this fall. 

“There will be some schools that I want to get out and see but I still have to talk to my parents and schedule it out. 

“I’m looking for a school that will allow me to be the player that I am.  I would also like high end academics because I want to make it to the league but in the future years I want to have something to do, I can’t just be chilling around the house (said with a laugh)”.