|Andre Dawkins is taking the year off now not just from playing in games, but also practice. (US Presswire)|
Andre Dawkins was originally thought to be a redshirt for the Duke program this season in the sense that he'd be a traditional redshirt. Which is to say, he'd not play in games, but still be on scholarship and be committed to the program throughout the season by way of participating in practices, team activities and so forth.
Turns out, that's not the case. Dawkins will attend Duke this academic year as a basketball player on scholarship -- but that's it. No practices. He wasn't even a part of the 2012-13 team picture. Why? Dawkins is reported to be going through understandably tough times in the wake of his sister's death, which came in December of 2009, but is still clearly bothering the young man.
He's working his way through that tragedy, and stepping away from the team for a year was the choice made in order to better his life.
Over the summer Mike Krzyzewski confirmed that Dawkins would sit 2012-13 out, but it wasn't until Friday that we learned Dawkins would indeed be fully stepping away from playing basketball over the next six to eight months.
His name, though, is still on the roster and he is still in school, according to his father, Andre Dawkins Sr.
Dawkins Sr. said that his son is working through his grief.
“He is doing really well with that,” Dawkins Sr. said. “We're supporting him in whatever way we can. We're just taking it one day at a time.”
Dawkins' sister, Lacey, died in a car accident amid a huge 2009 pre-Christmas snowstorm. Duke was hosting St. John's that year, and the especially bitter turn to the story is how Lacey was insistent on going to see him play because she'd yet to watch her brother play hoops live, as a Blue Devil.
All intentions are for Dawkins to return to the team full-time and play next year, but for now, the team has an odd void. Strictly from a basketball point of view, Dawkins' absence will hurt Duke, but it shouldn't be a huge detraction from the team's overall prospects. Dawkins is a nice piece but would figure to fit in much better next season when he, hopefully can correct himself fully and be a senior with an enhanced role.