Mt. Clemens Senior Dorian Armstorng Talks Season So Far

28 Jan

New haven's #11 Joshua Mills and Mt. Clemens' #32 battle for loose ball.The Mt. Clemens Bathers are a perfect 11-0 on the season.  Ranked number one in Class C and top 5 in the state, few too little teams have proved strong enough to challenge the Bathers for an entire game.  The key for Mt. Clemens this year has been their depth at each position on the court.  From Josh McFolley, Tarayle Cate, and Jermaine Jackson Jr. in the the backcourt, to Gerald Blackshear, Charles Penn and Tariiq Jones up front, however, the one player that is the anchor of Mt. Clemens’ system is 6’6″ 205 pound senior forward Dorian Armstrong.

One of two seniors in the starting lineup for Mt. Clemens, Dorian has been a automatic double-double machine so far this season, averaging ten points and 12 rebound a game this year, including a triple-double against Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 blocks.  He notes that his biggest attributes for Mt. Clemens is rebounding, playing defense and bringing constant energy,  but as the only senior of a talented front-court, Armstrong has a special and unique role for his teammates.

“My role is just being a leader and role model for the young guys on the team,” said Dorian, “and just be more vocal.”

Mt. Clemens has finished with a winning record over the past seven seasons, but have enjoyed startling success with the arrival of head coach Jermaine Jackson last season.  Jackson, a high school star at Detroit’s Finney High School and college standout at U of D Mercy, played in the NBA for about seven seasons with the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, and Milwaukee Bucks.  In 2012-2013, coach Jackson led the Bathers to a 21-2 record before bowing out to eventually Class C champion Flint Beecher in the regional final.  Jackson’s effect on his players goes far beyond wins and losses on the hardwood, it’s the constant practice for achieving long term success in life that Armstrong appreciates in Jackson.

“He does so much for me and the team, he’s like a father figure to us” said Armstrong.  “He brought a lot of life to the program, especially for me because before he came, going to college to play ball didn’t seem realistic because my skill and talent wasn’t getting seen or noticed, but all that has changed apon his arrival.”

The recruiting process for Dorian started to increase during the summer, when he began to receive interest from schools like Austin Peay and Ferris State in Michigan.  But with his standout play so far this season, the main schools showing interest in Dorian’s abilities include Wayne State, Aquinas University and Siena Heights.  Dorian notes that he has always loved the programs at the University of Michigan, and University of Kentucky, and wants to make his college decision based on qualities of those two successful programs.

“Making a decision would be based off how I like the program, the environment of the school, and just wanting to go to a winning program.”

For now, Dorian can set aside all the recruiting talk, as the Bathers head down the season stretch, looking to gain momentum for what they believe to be a long, and deep playoff run in March.  The team that has been picked to challenge Mt. Clemens in Class C all year has been Detroit Consortium, with 2016 star wing Josh Jackson.  If the two teams handle their business in both district and regional play, the two squads would meet up in the state quarterfinal at West Bloomfield.  However, Armstrong and his teammates don’t listen to the outside world, and want to take this season one day at a time.

“We don’t pay any attention to the talk” said Armstrong, “we just go out and play every game hard and we just play for each other.”

If Mt. Clemens is able to win a state championship this year, it would be the first in the school’s history.  It would also be special for the current group of seniors, who have been through both the thick and thin to get to where they are today.  For Armstrong and his fellow 12th graders,  a state title would be the culmination of a four year long journey that could not end any more satisfying.

“It would mean a lot (a state title)” said Dorian, “not only me but the rest of my teammates and the coaching staff because that’s all we have been working towards the pass two years.”  “All the running, long days or practice, and hard work would finally pay off with us holding that trophy at the end of March, that would mean the world to me.”

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