Point guard Dominique Doseck poses for a portrait in The Convo.
Deb Doseck worked nights, but before she went to work, she’d take her daughter, Dominique, to Alexander High School in Albany.
Dan Doseck, Dominique’s father, was the coach of the girls basketball team at Alexander. When Deb arrived, she’d have Dominique in her carrier and would set her on the court.
When Dominique was 2 years old, Deb and Dan got her a Nerf basketball. She was barely walking — but Dominique just wanted a ball in her hand.
“She started early, just enjoyed the game,” Deb said.
As Dominique got older, she started trying to dribble on the sideline as her dad led practice. Sometimes, she’d even hold the practice whistle and have the girls on the team do line sprints.
Dominique, now a junior guard at Ohio, has been around basketball since she was born. An Athens native, she has one of the highest basketball IQs on the Bobcats. She’s a starter this season, which is a new role for her.
And though she’s not one of the first players to see plays develop from the bench anymore, she’s still figuring out team’s schemes quickly.
When Ohio played High Point on Nov. 12, its first game of the season, Dominique saw some plays she and the Bobcats knew the Panthers had. She called out “Floppy,” a four-high set that High Point runs. And she also called out “Chin,” a Princeton offense set the Panthers run.
“She’s so cerebral that she’s able to play several steps ahead of everybody else,” coach Bob Boldon said after the High Point game. “High Point ran stuff that we’ve never seen before, and the second time she’s telling three other kids how to guard it.”
Calling out opponents’ plays and telling her teammates where to be is not new for Dominique. Her parents said she’s been doing that since elementary school.
“You could tell she knew the game early on,” Dan said.
Dominique played Amateur Athletic Union, or AAU, basketball for Team Ohio from third grade through high school. Her dad coached her from third to sixth grade, and he was also an assistant coach on Dominique’s AAU teams as she was growing up.
When she started playing, Dominique didn’t play point guard. She was in elementary school, and at that age, the ball is given to whoever can handle it well.
Still, Dominique played where her coaches needed her to.
“Being able to see the floor and know different roles was a big part of being a point guard and helping develop that,” Dominique said.
Not starting out as a point guard allowed Dominique to see what the other positions did on the floor. She gained a multitude of skills, which allowed her to be multidimensional. She’s a shooter and a gifted passer, and has good court awareness.
Dominique knows what she needs to do and where she needs to be. But also knowing where her teammates need to be gives her an edge. Freshman guard Cierra Hooks even views her as one of the “moms on the floor.”
Recently, Boldon joked that Dominique was coming for assistant coach Tavares Jackson’s job. Dominique has this season and next season left at Ohio.
But after that, she probably won’t be coming for Jackson’s position — she’ll likely be coaching her own squad.
When she’s finished playing, Dominique wants to coach women’s college basketball. She coached a seventh-grade girls Team Ohio squad this past summer to gain experience, and she implemented a lot of Ohio’s schemes into her AAU team. Her dad was an assistant just in case she had any scheduling conflicts with the Bobcats.
Dan helped sub players in and out, and Boldon suggested some drills Dominique could use.
But it was Dominique’s team. She did all the practice plans.
“She’s just got to keep doing it,” Dan said.
As a coach, Dominique saw the game from a different perspective. She wasn’t on the court, and she had to recognize which players were playing well at specific times. And coaching AAU, she didn’t get film beforehand to break down teams either.
In coaching at the middle school level, she struggled to communicate with her team at times. Dominique told Boldon that, and he let her know that would be a challenge.
Still, she enjoyed coaching and the growth process that came with it. She plans on coaching again next summer.
“He was like, ‘Well, if you can figure that out, let me know,’” Dominique said. “It was one of those things. It’s trial and error, and it’s trying to get different people’s ideas and find out what works best for your group.”
When Dominique started her college career, Boldon said she wouldn’t be taking many shots like she did in high school.
Now, in the first four starts of her college career, she’s averaged 12.0 points per game and shot 40.0 percent from behind the 3-point line. She scored a career-high 17 points in Ohio’s 74-61 loss Saturday against No. 25 Michigan, surpassing her previous career high of 15 that she set against Kent State in 2016.
A player who has so much intelligence, who has grown up around the game, Dominique has lived a hooper’s life.
The days of going to practice in her carrier and eventually trying to dribble on the sidelines, then transitioning into AAU ball — all that molded Dominique into the smart player she is.
Her dad instilled a love for the game in her, and she oozes passion for it. Eventually that passion will transition into coaching, a profession she has a good chance to succeed in.
“She puts everything into it,” Deb said. “I think that she will be good at (coaching) because she loves it so much.”
Dominique is from Athens, but her mom said that she still comes home once a week. Growing up, Dominique liked to watch Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade, who was a star for the Miami Heat when she was younger. She also liked to watch Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird.
When Dominique was younger, she always used to watch games with her dad. Now, when Dominique comes home once a week, she’s still watching hoops with the man who ignited her passion for the game she loves.
“If they weren’t on the court, they were watching it on the television,” Deb said.