Former Bearcat finds success playing basketball in New York

Published 4:26 pm Friday, March 30, 2018

Bainbridge native, Dominic Douglas, is making history as a small forward at Villa Maria College in Buffalo, New York.

Douglas started playing basketball in the eighth grade at the YMCA. After playing for a while there, he joined the team at Bainbridge High School. He played on JV during his ninth and tenth grade year and varsity for his junior and senior year. Douglas said he didn’t really become serious about basketball until he was 17 years old.

During his senior year, he was offered a soccer and basketball scholarship to Villa Maria. Douglas said the people made him feel very comfortable and like everyone wanted him to be there, so he accepted the offer.

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Douglas said his freshman year started off rough. The speed of play and physicality changed everything. He was working out two-three times a day and there was not much room for error. During that time, he thought back to his days at BHS and how Coach Cochran and Coach McCullough developed him to be a tough player and a confident opponent on the court. With that in mind, Douglas went into his sophomore year and made history.

The Vikings participated in their first ever United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Basketball Tournament. They went up against ninth- seeded Andrews University Cardinals and eventually lost in the Elite Eight. Although the team lost, Douglas was averaging 12.5 points per game and five rebounds.

This year Douglas had a historic season as a junior. The Vikings held a 26-6 record, which Douglas led, averaging 18.6 points a game and six rebounds. 

During the playoffs, Douglas led the first game, scoring 35 points in a three overtime thriller game. The team was down by 10 points with less than two minutes to go, but Douglas rallied the team and made it happen.

The team won the Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and headed to the championship, where they lost against Berkley College. 

Because of the loss, Douglas was shocked when he found out he had won NIAC Player of the Year.

“I was shocked,” he said. “I didn’t think I was that much of a key piece to the team.”

Douglas soon realized only two players averaged better than him, but their team didn’t have the record the Vikings did. The Vikings went on to win 1st team All-American and 1st team all United States Collegiate Athletic Association for Division Two.

The team won these awards with the help of Douglas, who eclipsed 1,000 points and became the third Viking in history to do so.

For his senior year, Douglas plans to win the title and take it home. He is currently looking at traveling overseas to China or Italy to play ball and refine his skills before eventually entering the draft.

Douglas wants kids from Bainbridge to know that they have the opportunity to play at this level too.

“If you want it to happen, all it takes is hard work and dedication,” Douglas said. “If I can do it anybody can, they just have to put their mind to it. The door is wide open; anything is possible.”