February 23, 2011

Q&A with Preston Dodson

Preston Dodson was a three-sport star at Camden County High School, who turned down offers to play football and baseball in order to join the Fighting Camel basketball program. Not only did he earn a scholarship in his sophomore year, the South Mills, N.C., native developed into a 3-year starter who helped the Camels win a share of the A-Sun regular season title in 2010.

Question: When you arrived at Campbell as a recruited walk-on in 2007, did you believe one day you would be a 3-year starter and rank among the A-Sun leaders in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage?

Preston Dodson: Honestly, I did not think I would be a 3-year starter. Coming as a walk-on I did not know what was going to happen, but I did know that I could play at this level. My goal coming here in 2007 was to earn a scholarship for the next year and also earn a spot in the rotation.

Q: You had other options out of high school in football and baseball. Why did you choose basketball and Campbell University?

PD: I chose Campbell because it was my only chance to play Division I basketball. It was the sport that I really loved to play and my goal coming out of high school was to play Division I basketball. I chose not to play football or baseball because I had more fun playing basketball.

Q: In what areas have you seen the most improvement personally in your college career?

PD: I have seen the most improvement in my overall understanding of the game of basketball. I have also seen an improvement in my overall strength.

Q: Did you set any goals coming out of high school; or any yearly goals during your career?

PD: In addition to the goal of earning a Division I scholarship,. I also set yearly goals for myself every year of my career. I set my goals during the summer which helped me push myself through my summer workouts to get better. My goal for this year was to average 10 pts and 8 rebounds, and help my team anyway possible.

Q: Your father has been deployed as a Navy SEAL throughout your college career. What's it been like for you to see him at so many games this year?

PD: It has been great to see him at most of my games this year. Family is very important to me and it means a lot that they care about me so much to drive 3 hours to come to the majority of my home games and even some of my away games.

Q: Do you feel as special responsibilities - being the oldest of 4 children in your family - especially when your dad has to be away as much as his job requires?

PD: I just felt like I needed to help my mother in the house more than I usually did. I did not see it as a special responsibility though. I felt like it was something that I should do for my mother because she did so much more for me.

Q: What are your greatest memories, so far, from your career at Campbell?

PD: My greatest memory in my career at Campbell has to be when we beat UNF on their home court for a share of the Atlantic Sun Championship during my junior year. Another great memory was playing Virginia Tech on our home court with Gore Arena packed full of fans; it was a great atmosphere to play in.

Q: You really got off to a great start this year - Coach Laing says you were playing the best basketball of your career - then you suffered a fractured eye socket in practice. What did you learn while you were out of action during December?

PD: While I was out I learned how much I loved to play the game and how much I am going to miss the game when I graduate. I learned not to take things for granted because unexpected things can happen. Luckily, my injury was not severe enough to put me out for the rest of the year.

Q: You recently took the GMAT. What are your plans following graduation?

PD: Hopefully I can go to grad school and get my master's degree in business administration. If that does not work out, I will pursue a job in the business field.

Q: Any thoughts of using your fifth year of eligibility to play football?

PD: Yes, I have thought about that a lot actually. I have missed football more than I thought I would. I really want to be able to play next year.