Dee Hugie two time defending dunk champion

Rachel Bennett, Staff Writer

Mesa has a vast majority of people in attendance from musicians to artists and more ironically, the athletes. Athletes are a big part of the Mesa community, home to many up-and-coming stars whose dreams consist of putting on an official jersey and continuing the game they love.
One athlete in particular is Dee Hugie, a 25 year old sophomore business major whose goal is to have a professional career playing the sport he loves;basketball.

“I started playing when I was nine years old. One of my friends asked me if I wanted to play and I’ve been playing ever since.” Hugie says.

What makes Dee Hugie special in basketball started way before he even picked up a ball. He was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina and attended Emsley A. Laney High School the same city and school that NBA legend Michael Jordan lived and attended. What’s even more spectacular was that both Jordan and Hugie were cut from the Varsity squad when try out dates came around. But both men continued to prove their worth.

“It’s funny growing up in the same city as Michael Jordan and attended the same high school; we both got cut our first year at Laney high school. So I honor him by wearing number 23. That would have to be the most memorable experience, being cut as a freshman.”

In basketball, there are a lot of things that make a player a good player, whether it’s a good defense, a sky hook, or a shot that always falls, but Hugie’s specialty is dunking.

On Saturday Oct 1st Hugie defended his dunking title against his fellow Men’s Basketball teammates at Midnight Madness. He was the only one that consistently was able to get the ball through the hoop and was able to do so without trying hard. It was just a natural thing for him to do since his workout schedule is his secret to success.

“The first time I dunked was when I was in the eighth grade. Since then I’ve practice my dunks before and after practice.”

His workout regime consists of waking up every morning at five o’clock like Jordan did, shooting hundreds of jump shots and practicing his dunking nonstop.He has been doing this consistently for a long time and it has proven to be a champion workout, Hugie having made the Conference team his freshman year because of it.

Besides Michael Jordan, one of his major inspirations, is his mother who took care of Hugie and his siblings after their father passed away. She tried hard to provide for them and he strived to become a better man and follow his dreams. It was hard for him to cope, but he always remembers that his father is with him always. His team keeps him motivated to stay strong and successful.

“My goals in basketball are to bring Mesa a championship, get my picture on the Dean’s wall and go pro next year and travel overseas to play.’’

With his amount of dedication and skill that has been accumulated for the past 16 years, Dee Hugie definitely has a lot of things under his belt. Hopefully just like Jordan he will stay strong and fly like an eagle.