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Daily photo by Michael Wetzel

One on one with ... East Lawrenceís Dakota Matthews

East Lawrence High shooting guard Dakota Matthews is finding success on the basketball court this year as the lone returning starter from the 2005-06 Eagles team. The 5-foot-11 senior sat down recently and answered 10 questions from Daily assistant sports editor Michael Wetzel.

Question: When did you get interested in basketball?

Answer: I guess I started playing when I was about 6 on a playground in Huntsville. My older brother urged me to start playing so young. We didnít move to East Lawrence until I was in the seventh grade.

Q: Whatís the most difficult aspect about basketball for you?

A: The physicalness of the game, the fouls. The referees here are pretty strict. They should let us play.

Q: Coach Dale Walker is in his first year as the boys coach after having success coaching the girls. Do you guys ever have to remind him heís not coaching girls any longer?

A: No, weíve all seen a big difference in the way he coaches. He demands discipline. He can show us how he wants the move. He gets upset with us sometimes, and he might say things to us he might not say to the girls. But it doesnít hurt. Boys donít cry.

Q: What is your favorite subject in school?

A: History or maybe social studies. I like learning about the people who came before us. Like Al Capone, that guy had more money than the U.S. government did.

Q: You also play football. If you had to choose between football and basketball, which one would you choose?

A: I like basketball, but football comes more natural. Football is just second nature to me. Iím getting some college offers for football. Schools want me to play safety.

Q: If you could be set financially and retire now, what would you do with your time?

A: Even though Iíd have the money, I would still like to coach high school track. I want a (championship) ring.

Q: Who is the first great or amazing athlete you remember watching on television?

A: Probably Spud Webb (5-foot-6 former NBA player). I saw him in that slam dunk contest (1986). He gave me hope for dunking a ball. He gave everyone hope.

Q: In 10 years, what will you be doing?

A: I just want to be successful. Iím going to study psychology in college, so maybe a shrink or high school counselor.

Q: What do you consider your greatest single accomplishment as an athlete?

A: I guess it would be winning the state in 110- and 300-meter hurdles as a junior. Hopefully, I can win them again as a senior.

Q: Tell us something that most folks donít know about you.

A: I read the Bible before every game I play. Itís the best book thatís ever been written.

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