Maya Dodson of St. Francis is the No. 1 senior women’s basketball recruit in Georgia and No. 11 player nationally, according to HoopGurlz. The 6-foot-3 wing has scored 1,170 points and has 673 rebounds and 226 blocked shots in her three seasons at St. Francis, during which Dodson has led the Knights to consecutive state championships. Dodson has signed with Stanford.
Here are five quick questions with Dodson as she and St. Francis get ready for the state tournament, which begins this weekend. St. Francis (24-4) is ranked No. 1 in the Class A private-school division.
How do you see the Class A private-school state tournament playing out, and how does St. Francis match up with top contenders Holy Innocents’ and Wesleyan?
‘’Our plan is to three-peat as state champions. I really don’t know much about playing either one since they had been in Class AA. Holy Innocents’ won the AA championship last year and Wesleyan the year before. Both teams are great, and we will have to bring our A game no matter who we play. This will be great way to end my high school career.’’
What were your experiences with Team USA and best memories of last summer?
‘’My Team USA experience was surreal. From the tryouts to the practices to the competition in Spain, it really stretched me and made me a much better player. All of us on the team made a bond that will last forever. My best memory was being in the medal game against China and all of us coming together for the win. Of course getting a medal and hearing your national anthem is the best feeling of all.’’ [Dodson won a bronze medal with Team USA at the FIBA U17 world championships in Zaragoza, Spain. Dodson started all seven games and averaged 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds.]
How do you feel about your selection to the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago and also being able to play there with your St. Francis teammate Kasiyahna Kushkitua?
‘’It is a distinct honor and a glorious milestone in my basketball career. I grew up watching these games and thinking about how cool it would be to be chosen to play. This is a dream come true! [As far as playing with Kushkitua … ] It’s going to be awesome! Kasi and I have had much success on the high school stage. We have become good friends over the years. To share this honor being her teammate one last time will be a lasting memory.’’
What do you want to accomplish between now and when you go to Stanford, and why?
‘’Besides winning our third state championship, I just want to get better. I will try to improve in specific aspects of my game. I will report this summer. I want to be prepared to work hard and contribute.’’
What will you be doing in seven years?
‘’This is a tough one. That seems like a lifetime away. I would have finished a successful career at Stanford for a start. I hope to continue playing, whether it’s WNBA, overseas or both. I also would like to start my own business. If I could combine basketball with a business, it would be the best-case scenario!’’