TELEGRAM: Holy Name's Price will play both football and basketball for HoundsMay 1, 2007
By Jim Wilson
Telegram & Gazette
Holy Name's Dominique Price will take his football and basketball talents across the city to Assumption College.
When Holy Name's Dominique Price was choosing a school, one of the hardest decisions for him was figuring out what sport he should play - football or basketball.
In the end, he chose both, as Price will become the first player in Assumption College history to suit up for both the football and basketball teams since the school started football 21 years ago.
Price made his choice last week and said he was happy to finally make his college decision and be at a local place where he can be close to family and friends.
"I don't know what sport I'm better at, so I wanted to play both to find out what I'm really good at," Price said.
Price said Assumption emerged as the favorite over American International and Quinnipiac and said the possibility of playing both sports was important to him, and the Greyhounds were open to it.
"The coaches told me I would be the first to do both, and that meant a lot to me," said Price, adding he will play wide receiver on the gridiron.
"It came down to the fact he was able to play both sports at the school," Holy Name basketball coach Jason Chavoor said. "He got a lot of offers, but a lot of those were at basketball schools that weren't necessarily football offers or they were football schools that didn't have a basketball offer."
It also helped that Assumption will be home to quite a few former Holy Name players next fall. The Naps will send Michael Baldarelli to play basketball, and Craig Bellemare and Wally Derosier will play football for Assumption coach Cory Bailey while Price's football teammate, Zach Rafferty, will also attend the school in the fall.
"I think it was a unique situation where he will have an opportunity to play both sports for at least a year or two," Assumption men's basketball coach Serge DeBari said. "If anyone can do it, he can, because he's such a phenomenal athlete."
DeBari is confident Price, who is leaning toward a major in business, will excel in both sports and doesn't foresee a problem working both sports as well as academics into his schedule, but admits everyone involved is making it up on the fly.
"Quite frankly, we don't have a total fix on how this is going to work because it's such a unique situation, and there aren't too many models to say how it should be done," DeBari said. "There are actually a lot of models that say it can't be done, so we're going to go slowly, keeping in mind our first priority for Dominique is his academic welfare above everything else."
Bailey said Price came onto his radar while he was trying to convince Bellemare and Derosier to come aboard.
"(Price) has a huge upside in football and a ton of potential, and we're hoping we can bring that out of him," said Bailey, whose team went 4-6 last year and are 9-21 during his three years as coach.
Bailey said the two seasons dovetail nicely, with football ending before the basketball season begins, and after Price gets done on the hardwood, it will be time to start spring football. Between athletics and academics, Price will have his hands full, but Bailey thinks this arrangement could work for all four years of college if Price is up to it.
"It will depend on Dominique and what he feels more comfortable doing," Bailey said. "It really comes down to what he wants to do, and where he has the most success is going to determine that."
DeBari said both sports at Assumption utilize a similar weightlifting and conditioning program and added the rigorous football regimen should help him when it comes time to transition to the hardwood.
"He is such a phenomenal athlete, it will take him less time physically from one sport to another," said DeBari, whose squad went 11-17 last season. "He plays skill positions which emphasize not only physical strength, but also skill and quickness, so he's not going to be in the trenches, so to speak, on the offense or defensive lines. His speed and quickness are the most attractive things in his physical package. We're not naive; we know it's going to take some time to make the transition from football to basketball."
While DeBari may be holding his breath every time Price gets tackled on the gridiron, he is hoping Price's decision will be the start of a new trend of high school two-sport athletes continuing their successes at the next level.
"I'm sort of old school, I want him to succeed because I hate the fact that kids don't get a chance to play multiple sports anymore," DeBari said. "I think that was one of the most beautiful things growing up was the opportunity to play more than one sport, but unfortunately nowadays people are led to believe you can't do that anymore."
Price has played a crucial role in Holy Name's resurgence to the top of the local sports scene. Price helped the Naps to two consecutive Division 2 Super Bowl wins in football, playing running back his junior season and amassing 1,039 yards before moving to wide receiver/kick returner his senior year and scoring eight touchdowns. Price also was a two-time T&G Super Teamer in basketball, helping Holy Name to back-to-back appearances in the Division 1 state title game, scoring over 1,000 career points and averaging 13.2 points as a senior. Price and Baldarelli were nominated for the McDonald's All-American team this past winter.
Price said while he initially had his sights set on playing at a higher level, the more he looked at Assumption, the more he felt it was the place for him.
"I like the whole coaching staff in both sports," Price said. "I feel a lot more comfortable there, that's why I chose Assumption."