Kenny Kaminski, Matt Costello and Dorian Dawkins dreamed of playing college basketball together for the Michigan State Spartans.
They were AAU teammates when they were younger and the idea of playing for one of the most successful and consistent programs in college basketball was a dream worth shooting for.
But Dawkins never had a chance to get to East Lansing the way Kaminski and Costello did. He tragically passed away at the age of 14 from a heart defect during the Tom Izzo Spartan Shootout, a summer high school basketball tournament.
Dawkins collapsed at the free throw line on a June night in 2009.
His death devastated Costello and Kaminski. Costello lost weight and was distraught over the death. Kaminski was overwhelmed with tears and hugged Dawkins’ parents at the funeral.
Players that young shouldn’t have to deal with losing a friend and teammate, but none of us never know when our time is up.
Sometimes it happens too soon and we are left searching for answers.
The memory of Dawkins lives on in the hearts and minds of Costello and Kaminski, who will be freshmen at Michigan State this season.
Kaminski has chosen to wear the No. 30 to honor Dawkins. Dawkins wore the No. 3 as a player, but Kaminski chose No. 30 because it represents 3 and nobody else.
It’s a neat gesture by Kaminski, who will probaby redshirt this season while recovering from a shoulder injury.
Costello, who was Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan last year, injured his tailbone in practice and may have to sit out the season opener.
Regardless of how their careers turn out for the Spartans, though, it’s good to know Dawkins will never be forgotten by Kaminski and Costello.