COVINGTON, Ga. -On Tuesday night, the Eastside Lady Eagles game against the Hampton Lady Hornets was brought to a complete stop for a moment of celebration of a historic achievement by senior Alysee Dobbs.
Dobbs became the first Lady Eagle to join the 1,000 point club with a 3-pointer from the top of the key in the early part of the second quarter against the Lady Hornets. Dobbs did not know until the day before the game that she was only 14 points away from reaching this colossal achievement.
“Honestly, I didn’t know I was that close until the day before at practice because my dad would never tell me because he would say ‘I don’t want you to think about it or get in your head about it’ and the day before coach King told everybody at practice that I was 14 points away,” Dobbs said.
Lady Eagles’ head coach Gladys King knew that she wanted Dobbs to get her 14 points that night and was happy to see her thriving and get that achievement in such a quick fashion.
“To be honest, for me, it didn’t matter how she made it. I just wanted for her to get the points that she needed to reach that milestone, which was 14 points. She is a great shooter, but she’s very versatile inside and outside and that I always good,”
As soon as Dobbs’s three-point shot swished through the basket, cheers erupted from the stands, and her teammate T’Niah Douglas immediately embraced her. Dobbs said that she knew as soon as the ball left her hand she knew she had made it.
“It was amazing like as soon as I released the ball, I knew it was going in, and I couldn’t stop smiling because I knew I had done it.”
That feeling was also expressed by Douglas and Dasia Burgess, who were both excited and happy they were for their fellow senior.
“Us three (Dobbs, Burgess and Douglas), We’ve been playing together for a long time and to see one of my teammates to really make the 1,000 points club I’m very proud of her,” Burgess said.
“She’s uplifting, and she makes sure everyone else is okay before she’s okay, so for us to look out for her now, I’m happy she made the 1,000 point club.”
“I’m very proud of her too. I’m glad at least someone from Newton County made history here at Eastside,” Douglas said.
Of course, the most excited player on the court had to be Dobbs, and her excitement was at an all-time high once she got that crucial 14th point in her team’s game.
“It felt great, and I honestly could not stop smiling because this is something I’ve thought about since freshman year,” Dobbs said, “This is something I’ve thought about since freshman year, and for it to actually come true and that I’ve made history, I still can’t get over it.”
Dobbs had plenty of people to thank to help get her to this amazing achievement in her career, but she wanted to thank her late grandparents, Burl and Beverly Russell, for installing a love of sports in her at an early age.
“I really do this for my grandparents, my mom’s parents that passed away when I was young, but they had the most impact on me with sports growing up, and they’re like who I do it for, and they do a lot,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs also credited the consistent support and assistance from her parents, Durant Dobbs and Angie Head, for helping her find so much success in her playing career.
“They have helped me in so many ways starting with early mornings and late nights, taking me to and from tournaments, paying for all the stuff in basketball that I’ve needed, and they have always been by my side supporting me and cheering me on every step of the way,” said Dobbs, “It’s a mental thing to have my parents there in the stands. It means the world to me when they are there, and I know that they are supporting me in the sport I love.”
Each person that commented on Dobbs’s accomplishment mentioned how hard of a worker she is, and King went into detail about how her constant effort to improve her game has always stood out to her.
“On our off days, when we’re not practicing, she’s in the gym. She gets training from Marquis Gilstrap, and she goes in and gets training on whatever she needs to improve on, and if I tell her to work on this or that, she’ll take it to heart and come in and work on it,” King said.
“We worked on baseline defense in practice, and when we played at Druid Hills, Druid Hills only scored 16 points until I started making substitutions, but she made sure to hone in on defense because we had talked about it at practice.”
King is not the only coach that has spent a large amount of time helping Dobbs improve her craft. Marquis Gilstrap, who is the coach of the AAU team Team Strap, has spent a lot of time working with Dobbs, and he was not surprised by Dobbs’s accomplishment.
“Alysee (Dobbs) has a great work ethic, so she’s wanted to be good, and she’s willing to put in the work to be good. It’s just a great accomplishment for her, and I’m happy to see her make school history because it’s well deserved,” Gilstrap said, “I’m not surprised that she reached the thousand point plateau, I’ve just been waiting for when this was going to happen.”
Gilstrap mentioned that Dobbs was the first girl that he’s worked with to reach this fantastic milestone and that it was truly deserving. He said he has seen her game grow in multiple facets and knows that her dedication has played a role in that.
“I’m speechless, but I’m not surprised because when she gets into the gym, she works hard on her craft. It’s hard, working out with me one-on-one, and she never complains and does what I ask her to do,” Gilstrap said.
“I saw this year that her post-up game was a lot better, and coach King does a great job of using Alysee’s talents. Her ball-handling has gotten a lot better too; She has always been able to shoot the basketball, but this year, alone, she’s finished very well through contact.
As for what is next for Dobbs, she set individual goals aside and had more of a team viewpoint, which is no surprise when considering Burgess’s earlier comments about how she always cares for others first.
“Honestly, I would just like to see us do well in region. It’s our senior year, and I feel like it would be amazing for us to do something in region and go to state playoffs,” Dobbs said.