Reader’s note: This story is satirical in nature and published in a spoof issue.
With nine players injured and the season on the line, biddies’ basketball head coach Mike Dozeman was willing to do whatever it took to save his squad.
Even if that meant joining his players on the court and rounding out their roster as the team’s newest point guard.
“I realized, you know, that I was spending a lot of time preaching to the girls that they needed to make a change and adapt to the situation,” Dozeman said. “Honestly, the hardest part was picking a wig. There were just so many options, and it was important to me to find one that brought out my eyes and complemented my style.”
Being a secret member of his team presented unique challenges for Dozeman. He had to be careful to maintain a safe distance from the officials during warm-ups and crouch in GW’s line during the National Anthem so he didn’t appear taller than his teammates. It was a grueling process for Dozeman, but he viewed the obstacles as a necessary sacrifice. The leader of a team crippled by numerous injuries, he was determined to reduce the fatigue of the remaining players.
“I just needed people out there, so why not me?” he said. “I mean, also, not to brag, but I was pretty good. I really brought the heat.”
Over five games of play, Dozeman averaged 28 points and 15 assists, posting a double-double over Rhode Island January 26. Perhaps his most dramatic moment came in the Colonials’ victory over Massachusetts. In the final minutes of the game, Dozeman executed a perfect ally-oop dunk, soaring over his defender to slam the ball home.
“The dunk was just great, it felt awesome,” Dozeman said. “When I was preparing, I practiced with a lot of people, including David Tellom from the men’s team, and he and I really focused on dunking. And, you know, it really paid off.”
Despite Dozeman’s best precautions, he couldn’t keep his identity secret forever. It was during the dunk, the play he was proudest of, that Dozeman was unmasked. A stray hair caught in the net, and as Dozeman returned to the court, his wig dangled from the rim, a waving indication the nimble point guard had a secret.
“I was celebrating my dunk and then I realized everyone was silent. So I looked around, like, ‘Hey, what happened to team spirit?’ But then I saw it hanging from the basket,” Dozeman said. “It felt like someone had literally ripped my hair out.”
It was a confusing moment for fans, players and officials. Never before had a coach been unmasked in the middle of a game as a member of his team. Stunned by the circumstances, the referees asked Dozeman to leave the court and granted Massachusetts two free throws to make up for his presence.
“To be honest, we also felt bad for them,” said one official who wished to remain anonymous. “Literally everyone else was injured, that coach was just trying to help his team out.”
Although the scheme didn’t end quite as he’d hoped, Dozeman doesn’t regret his decision to play for the team. It’s an inspirational story, he said, and one that shows his commitment to his team.
“I’d do it again. Not many coaches would go above and beyond for their team like that,” Dozeman said. “I think Denzel should play me in the movie.”