When one thinks of a leader in a high school sport, one would automatically place an upperclassmen in that category.
However, Eastside’s Alysee Dobbs shows that a freshman basketball player can lead as well. This fact was enough to place her as The Covington News’ Freshman Basketball Player of the Year.
“I consider her as a leader,” said Eastside girls’ basketball coach Gladys King. “And sometimes you don’t have to name your captains. Sometimes people just follow your lead and you lead by example. And (Dobbs) did a really good job of leading by example this year. Leaders are not always vocal. They just get the job done. And when I tell you Alysee works hard at practice, she works hard at practice. She’s going to give you 100 percent.”
For Dobbs, it was gratifying for her to see her talents and effort recognized in her first year of high school.
“I feel honored,” Dobbs said.
As a ninth grader, Dobbs started at guard for a very young and rebuilding Eastside girls squad.
The 5-foot-9 15-year-old could easily just be a defensive threat, but Dobbs pushes herself to be an offensive double threat as well. After the leading scorer for the Lady Eagles graduated last year, Dobbs did not shy away from filling that spot. She tallied 20 points a game during this past season.
“She is able to score,” said King. “She wanted to score. She realized that we didn’t have that and that someone had to shoot the ball. She wasn’t afraid to do that. In order to win games you have to play defense but you also have to put the ball up. She realized that.”
Dobbs has been playing basketball since she was seven years old. A two-sport standout at Eastside, she splits her talents between basketball and softball. Dobbs plans to continue sports for the rest of her time in high school and when she gets to college.
The young powerhouse credits her first year success to hard work, Eastside’s coaching staff and her fellow teammates. Bonding with the coaches and her teammates is Dobbs’ favorite part about playing sports.
“Meeting Coach King was great for me,” said Dobbs. “She had a lot of great pointers for my shot, my defense and everything. She helped me out through my whole season. She always had a good attitude. She never let us down.
“With the coaches and teammates I had, we pushed together and we played harder, they taught me more and we just kind of bonded through basketball. The more we played together and the more heart we give in the game, we can all play together better on the court.”
Although Dobbs’ is one of the many key components to the Lady Eagles’ basketball program, she feels that there is always room for improvement – specifically in her dribbling, shooting and passing.
But development aside, King said she doesn’t have to think too hard to talk about the good she already sees in her freshman star.
“There’s a lot that I can say about Alysee,” said King. “I mean, as a freshman coming in, I’m really impressed with her drive to work hard. Coming in the gym and wanting to get better. Not only just in the gym but at home. She works on shooting and getting her shots up at home in the drive way. That tells me how committed she is to the program.”
Dobbs describes Eastside’s game with the Lady Seminoles as her favorite game from this past season. In that game, Dobbs sank 18 points, helping the Lady Eagles to a 47-41 win. Eastside ended its 2016-17 campaign with a 5-19 record overall and a 3-9 Region 4-AAAA mark.
But with Dobbs, and other promising young players around her, King believes the future for Dobbs – and the program – is bright.
“She always leads the way pretty much on offense,” said King. “The only thing she can do is elevate knowing what to expect from the varsity level. I’m very excited for her. I hope she uses this award as a tool to get better and better each year.”