Devan Dumes celebrated signing his letter of intent to play at Indiana Tuesday night at the Wheeler Boys and Girls Club in Indianapolis.
He told the crowd of roughly 150 friends and family that he didn’t expect that his journey to find a basketball destination that fit him better than Eastern Michigan could work out as well as it has.
â€œI really donâ€™t have a lot to say,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m living a dream.â€
Dave Oberle, the high school coach at Decatur Central where Dumes averaged 24.4 points his senior year, said his former star is the kind of high-character player who’ll help coach Tom Crean rebuild Indianaâ€™s program on and off the court.
â€œHeâ€™s a man whoâ€™s got a plan,â€ Oberle said. â€œHeâ€™s had a plan and he stuck with it and made himself into a very good basketball player, a player who plays with a lot of heart.â€
The plan that Oberle was referring to was one in which Dumes decided after his freshman year at Eastern Michigan to leave. Heâ€™d had a good first season, averaging 8.1 points in 18 minutes of play, but decided the school wasnâ€™t a good fit for him.
Dumes said after Tuesdayâ€™s ceremony that what he was looking for this time was a coach who was a good teacher and a people person, and â€œa place where they love basketball.â€
To find that place, Dumes decided to play for a year at Vincennes, a junior college, to try to attract the attention of other college coaches. Dumes had good grades at Eastern Michigan and academics were not a factor in his decision to transfer to Vincennes.
â€œGrades were never an issue,â€ Oberle said. â€œThey wonâ€™t be an issue at IU.
â€œHis desire, his competitive spirit was what made him rise to the top for us. He does not like to lose. Indiana will be Devanâ€™s last stay and heâ€™ll work really hard at it.â€
DEVAN OR DEVON? Thereâ€™s been some confusion this week about the spelling of Dumesâ€™ first name. The reason for that, according to his mother Alison Evans, is that his birth certificate says Devan, but heâ€™s always gone by Devon. He recently decided, though, that his name really should be whatâ€™s written on his birth certificate, so he has switched to Devan.
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