Erica Dawson has been an offensive and defensive standout on the hardwood for the past two varsity seasons.
Not surprisingly, the 5-foot-9 Marietta Tiger gets all kinds of attention from opposing defenders when she possesses the basketball. Stop her if you can.
Thing is, Dawson has been getting noticed off the court as well by numerous colleges and universities around the country. While being recruited is very flattering, she would prefer to focus and channel all her energy on playing basketball in her senior season at MHS.
So, Dawson has made a decision to commit to a school of higher education early instead of later.
On Wednesday in the lobby of Sutton Gym on the campus of Marietta High, Dawson signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball and continue her education at Xavier University in Cincinnati after prep graduation in the spring of 2013. Also present were parents' Glenn and Christi Dawson, younger brother Trent Dawson, younger sister Tori Dawson, Marietta head coach Scott Cozzens, JV and assistant coach Terry Wallis, athletic director Rick Guimond, assistant principal Chad Rinard, freshman coach Mark Hannuksela, and assistant coach Steve Denton.
"I just really fell in love with the campus on my visit," Erica Dawson said. "The coaching staff is amazing.
"Basically, I wanted to go into a program that was family-oriented, and they definitely are. Their team is like their family, and that's what I wanted."
The Amy Waugh-coached Musketeers are an NCAA Division I school and a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
"Coach Waugh does a great job," Dawson said. "She's from Xavier, and that's where her heart is, and all the coaches are really involved - and I just love it.
"I'm ready to go there and challenge myself and see what happens. I couldn't be happier with my decision."
Needless to say, Xavier is getting a good one in Dawson, who is undecided on her major.
"When she gets down there at Xavier, they're going to be able to do things that we can't help her with," Cozzens said. "I'm really looking forward to watching her playing, and blossom at that level. I think she's going to become a real force down there. I really do."