Freshman big man Dominic Woodson came from a situation that most wouldn’t survived, but you can’t tell by the look on his face at practice. He’s ready for the upcoming season. His teammates are very supportive of what he can bring to the table and his confidence is through the roof.
When he committed to Memphis in May, his mother was the first to contact him. She currently lives in Louisville and wanted to know if her son could get tickets to their game against Louisville this season. This is coming from someone who barely knows her son. Woodson was not too comfortable about the situation.
“That’s actually the first time I heard from my mom in a long time, when she found out that I was going to Memphis and playing Louisville in Louisville,” said Woodson. His mother has battled drug addiction every since he was a little boy.
“She asked me for tickets. That was the first thing she asked me. I mean, I called her and I was like, ‘I haven’t talked to you in a long time and that’s the first thing you ask me for?”
The last time Woodson saw his mother was at the age of 14. After that his aunt, Shavona, took him and five of his six siblings in. They moved to Austin, Texas in search of a comfortable life.
If it wasn’t for his aunt, Woodson would not be on the basketball court for any D1 program. It’s good to see what another family member can do for the next generation.
“I’d probably still be in Louisville right now, doing God knows what,” said Woodson. The 6-9, 300-pound big man first signed with Baylor, but was released from his letter of intent to go play elsewhere for immediate playing time.
During practice, Woodson is as vocal as the seniors on the team. He’s always smiling and not thinking about what happened to him in the past. He shows that his past is behind him and he wants to move forward with his life.
“I like to talk and encourage my teammates,” he said. “It’s good to encourage everybody because you never know somebody is feeling that way. They could be feeling down or something. So encouraging words can help everybody. I like when people encourage me.”
Coach Pastner is keeping Woodson on a straight line. He knows about his past and doesn’t want him to back track. Woodson didn’t have a decent relationship with his father either. His father was nowhere to be found throughout his years growing up.
“He died like two years ago,” said Woodson. “I only saw my pops like three or four times in my whole life.”
Pastner commented on Woodson and his past.
“Dominic’s been through a lot in his life,” said Pastner. “He’s a good guy. He really is. I think the key thing for him — forget basketball, but in life — is it’s gotta be about positive energy. I think some of the time he uses humor as a defensive mechanism, but I’ve told him, ‘Hey, when we step on the floor it’s business. We don’t have time to mess around.’
“It’s going to take him some time to change. But he’s come a long way from where he started. Trust me.”
I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.