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N. Dials earns Schollie (article)

Discussion in 'Buckeye Basketball' started by antosu, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. antosu

    antosu Newbie

    Dials earns his scholarship
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    By DANIEL J. PENDER
    danpender@sanduskyregister.com

    COLUMBUS


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    People couldn't understand why former Willard High School standout basketball player Nick Dials chose to be a walk-on at The Ohio State University.

    After all, Dials said smaller schools were offering him a full ride.

    Some said he'd never see the court at OSU. He's too small, too slow and couldn't play defense, the argument went.


    Willard's Nick Dials shoots up a three last season against St. Vincent St. Mary. (Register file photo/JASON WERLING)
    But when a player of Dials' caliber wants something badly enough, get out of his way.

    Dials now has full basketball scholarship to play for coach Jim O'Brien and the Buckeyes. Whether or not he sees the court is up to Dials, but counting him out is probably not a good idea.

    Dials said he didn't know how the scholarship became available, nor did he care.

    "Coach (O'Brien) called me aside and told me the news. I didn't know what to do," Dials said. "I have no idea how much he's seen me. We have open gyms, but I'm not sure how much he's seen me play."

    The OSU freshman was told in the middle of the day Sept. 25 about his scholarship, but did not tell a soul until he got his father, Olen Dials, on the line.

    "He's been with me since minute one," Dials said of his No. 1 fan. "There's been a lot of things going around that he's pushed me in basketball, but it's really the other way around. I drug him to the gym with me most of the time because I needed someone to rebound."

    As for those who said Dials should have gone to a smaller school, Dials doesn't have much time for them or their opinions.

    "They weren't in the decision process, so I didn't care."

    Now that Dials has a scholarship, his next goal is playing time with the Buckeyes.

    "That time will come," Dials said. "I'm trying to get used to playing with these guys here. They're here to play basketball and and hit the books and that's all we do.

    Dials took some of the summer off to rehabilitate an infected shoulder, but then hit the weights.

    "He got a lot bigger," Willard head basketball coach Greg Nossaman said. "He's up to 180, but his arms are huge."

    Nossaman said his phone rang as well last week with Dials on the other end.

    "He's fired up," Nossaman said. "The kid isÉ, you can't explain it, he just wants to play."

    The Willard coach visited friends for the OSU football game last week and Nossaman was telling them about Dials. But as soon as he told them how big he is, 6-0, they said, 'We don't need any of that,' according to the coach.

    "They just don't understand," Nossaman said. "This kid can play. He just wants to win and he wants to play. I'm looking forward to December, going down and seeing him play. I really think he's going to play this year. He wants to and he's got a big heart and heart has a lot to do with it."

    Dials said had to take over a month off in the beginning of the summer to rehab a staph infection in his shoulder, an infection he played with despite constant pain through football, basketball and baseball as a senior. It wasn't until it put him in the emergency room that he was told he needed surgery.

    "It's been kind of tough getting back from the surgery. It bothered me all year, but I had to go the emergency room the day before the district baseball game," he said. "I had this pain shoot up my arm and I didn't know what it was."

    He had the surgery mid-to-late May and could not practice until the end of June.

    As soon as Dials was cleared to play, he hooked up with his cousin, Jamie Dials, in Columbus and headed off to the gym at about 8 p.m. They didn't leave the court until 3 a.m.

    "I like going to the gym when I want to," Dials said. "I've been there a couple times at three in the morning."

    Dials is not taking anything for granted now that he's got the scholarship.

    "Nothing's changed for me," he said. "I still have my responsibilities to take care of. It takes a little off my shoulders, but I still have things to do."

    One thing his father Olen will not have to do is cut a check for tuition.

    "That's on me," Dials said.


    "Luck is merely the residue of design"
     

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