Photo: Pictured is Gadsden State sophomore Kintavious Dozier competing against Enterprise State in an Alabama Community College Conference basketball game earlier this year. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Gadsden State men’s basketball team has some big shoes to fill for next season, and not just on the stat sheet.
Sophomore standout guard Kintavious Dozier left his mark on the court, in the classroom and around campus.
According to Gadsden State men’s head basketball coach Deddric Tarver, Dozier is the school’s first All-American men’s basketball player since 1984 and most likely holds the program’s career scoring record with over 1,500 points.
Dozier finished second in the National Junior College Athletic Association and first in the Alabama Community College Conference this season in scoring with 27.8 points per game. He also was first in the conference in free throws made with a percentage of 77.6. He averaged 6.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists along with 44 steals. For his performance, Dozier was named to the NJCAA All-American team, the ACCC All-Region 22 first team and was selected as the North Division’s Co-Player of the Year along with Marcus Hill of Southern Union.
“It just shows that hard work pays off,” said Dozier. “We’re an all-for-one and one-for-all type of team, and I appreciate all the guys I’ve played with here. They’ve allowed me to do the things I do. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. Coach Tarver really trusted me and always gave me the green light, and I really appreciate him for that.”
Dozier was also the conference’s leading scorer for the 2021-22 season, when he averaged a team-high 21.5 points per game along with 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals.
Dozier, who made the Alabama Community College Conference Honor Roll for the second year in a row, noted that he comes from a family in which one is expected to perform as a student first and athlete second.
“We always put grades first, and that’s what I always tried to do,” he said.
Dozier’s popularity extended off the hardwood, as he was named 2023 Gadsden State Homecoming King in January.
During his seven years at Gadsden State, Tarver considers Dozier the best player he has ever coached.
“And I’ve coached some very good ones,” he said. “Kintavious ranks right up there as a person as well. He’s a standup guy. He really became a leader this year in helping some of the younger guys get through some tough times. I wish I had a clone of Kintavious. He’ll definitely be missed.”
Dozier recalled the main reason he signed with Gadsden State as an all-state guard who led Lanett to back-to-back state championship game appearances in 2020 and 2021.
“Coach Tarver was the first coach to reach out to me, and he was very real. Everything he told me, he came through on. He’s more like a father figure in that he’ll love you to death but also tell you when you’re doing something wrong. He made me grow as both a basketball player and a person, and I love him for that.”
Dozier, who earned an associate degree in General Studies at Gadsden State, recently signed with Division I Grambling State University in Louisiana.
“Just like Coach Traver, [the Grambling coaches] were genuine when I talked with them, and I feel like I’ll be in a great position to accomplish my goal, which is to play pro basketball.”
“I think Kintavious is ready to go right in and help [Grambling State],” said Tarver. “I really think that’s going to be a good situation for him down there, athletic-wise and academic-wise.
Dozier wrapped up his junior college career earlier than expected when the Cardinals had to forfeit all but two of their Alabama Community College Conference games, leaving the team out of the ACCC Tournament held earlier this month in Huntsville.
“I told the kids that sometime the train you’re riding on derails, but once you get back on the track, you keep going,” said Tarver. “The majority of my sophomores are continuing on to four-year schools, and that’s a testament how we’re grooming our student-athletes.”
Dozier appreciated that the relationships he made at Gadsden State will last a lifetime.
“I really found myself when I came here,” he said. “Just being around a lot of different people, I grew so much as a person. I’m very thankful for the support I got, because you can’t do it all by yourself.”