When Pershing High’s Sherron Dorsey-Walker enrolls next fall as a college freshman at Iowa State, the Cyclones will not only be getting one of the top basketball recruits from the Detroit Public School League but the Big 12 Conference school will also welcome a scholar-athlete whose 3.98 grade point average stands at the top of his class.
“That just shows the kind of person he is and the standards he’s set for himself,” Pershing Coach A.W. Canada says of Dorsey-Walker, the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week. “His academic excellence translates very well on the court. He’s always focused and he makes sound decisions. In key situations, he knows what’s going on around him and he knows what to do.”
A 6-4 point guard with shooting range, Dorsey-Walker adds to a long line of distinguished players in Pershing’s basketball legacy which began a half century ago under legendary coach Will Robinson.
From Spencer Haywood and Ralph Simpson in the 60s to Robert “Bubbles” Hawkins, Glenn Doughty and Paul Seals in the 70s to Steve Smith in the 80s to, most recently, Derrick Nix and Keith Appling, the state’s back-to-back Mr. Basketball winners in 2009-10, Pershing basketball has set a high standard.
“The ‘P’ stands for pride at Pershing,” Dorsey Walker said. “It means you’ve got to go hard every time you come out on the court. It means everything.”
A fourth-year varsity player, Dorsey-Walker is in his second year as a full-time starter. Entering Friday’s battle of PSL East Division unbeatens against Crockett, he’s averaged 15 points, five assists and four rebounds as theDoughboys’ floor leader.
“The only thing I worry about is winning,” Dorsey-Walker said. “I don’t care about numbers. I can play a lot of positions and try to give the team whatever it needs. I just like to win.”
Dorsey-Walker started some games as a sophomore after getting decent minutes as a freshman when Pershing won the Class A state championship in 2008-09, the fifth in the school’s history.
“He’s one of the leaders and is an integral part of what we do,” Canada said. “He’s a sound role model for the guys. He brings a whole wealth of experience and they look up to him.”
A year ago, many expected Dorsey-Walker to have a breakout season. But his struggles mirrored those of the team as the Doughboys had a rare off year.
“He had a lot on his plate,’’ Canada said. “He was asked to be the scorer, the rebounder, the leader, the point guard. After a year of doing it and playing AAU all summer, I think he’s more at ease. He knows where he’s going to school and he’s all set academically and athletically. It’s less stressful for him.”
Dorsey-Walker acknowledges he might have been too laid-back last year.
“It was hard coming to practice knowing that you’ve lost 10 games,” he said. “I didn’t step up as a leader. I thought it was the seniors’ job to lead, but anybody can lead. This year I wanted to be a better person and a better player and take responsibility for how we play as a team.
“We really haven’t played our best in all the games we’ve won. But this team can go as far as we want to go. We won’t be satisfied unless we win the city and state championship.”
There’s one other goal Dorsey-Walker has for his senior year. That’s to deliver the graduation speech as the Pershing High Class of 2012 Valedictorian.
“It’s important to show all my hard work not just on the court but off the court, too,” he said.
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week Award is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletic performers and is sponsored by local Detroit area McDonald’s owner-operators