Most Versatile Player

A well-rounded b-baller, outgoing senior Sherron Dorsey-Walker’s versatility played a key role in Golden Grizzlies’ success

Sherron Dorsey-Walker plays defense on the court.

Golden Grizzly Sherron Dorsey-Walker plays defense on the court. Photo by Jose Juarez.


icon of a calendarJune 6, 2017

icon of a pencilBy Fritz Reznor

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Basketball coaches dream of having an adaptable player who can deliver. The kind of player who can do whatever the team needs
 at any given second, whether it’s handling the ball and running the offense, driving to the basket or knocking down a three-pointer, grabbing a crucial rebound, or containing the opponent’s best scorer.

For the past two seasons on Oakland University men’s basketball team, senior Sherron Dorsey-Walker was exactly that — and more.

A lanky, 6'4" natural guard but with an 80-inch wingspan, the two-year co-captain played every position but center during his
 OU career. And he did whatever was necessary to help the 2016-17 Golden Grizzlies to a 25-9 record, a share of the Horizon League regular season championship, and the program’s first-ever National Invitation Tournament (NIT) berth: 27 points in a win over Oral Roberts University; 17 points and 14 rebounds to help beat Bowling Green State University; nine assists in a victory over Youngstown State University; 21 points, nine rebounds and four steals to help defeat Northern Kentucky University; and eight three-pointers in
a career-high 28-point effort in the regular season finale win over University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dorsey-Walker also was usually assigned to guard the opposition’s top scorer. During a pair of critical road wins in January, he held Youngstown State’s Cameron Morse to 11 points — 12 below his season average — and limited Cleveland State University’s Rob Edwards, who had torched the Golden Grizzlies for 32 points earlier in the year, to just eight points.

“I take pride in my defense, using my length to keep my man from scoring or holding him to a certain number of points,” Dorsey-Walker says. “Just going out there and competing, following the game plan, I knew it would give us a better chance of winning.”

It is that whatever-is-best-for-the-team attitude that makes Dorsey-Walker standout as a team player.

“(Sherron’s) always pushing and pulling for everybody,” says former assistant coach Cornell Mann. “Not everyone would be as receptive to the things we’ve asked of him, but he looks at it as, ‘This is what the team needs out of me, this is what the coaches want,’ and he’ll go out and do it to the best of his ability. And hopefully that is something he brought to the team that is contagious and continues on after he’s gone from the program.”

An Integrative Studies major at OU with a 3.36 GPA and a three-time Horizon League Academic Honor Roll selection, Dorsey-Walker was named to the 2016-17 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Men’s Basketball Team. He is only the second men’s basketball player to earn the honor in the school’s Division I era.

“(Sherron) is an ambassador for our program, an ambassador for our University,” says assistant coach Drew Valentine. “As good a player as he is, he’s probably an even better teammate.”

In 2017, Dorsey-Walker was a 2017 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches Good Works nominee. The Allstate Good Works Teams recognize players who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement at all levels of college basketball.

A Detroit native who starred at powerhouse Pershing High School, Dorsey-Walker transferred to Oakland in January 2105 after spending two and a half years at Iowa State University, where he saw limited playing time for what, at the time, were nationally-ranked teams.

But it was his deep-seated care for family that brought him back to Detroit, not basketball.

“I had a great experience at Iowa State,” he says, “but we had some family problems back home, and, being the older brother, I had to come back and help. Oakland was the perfect situation for me to continue my education and my basketball career.”

Dorsey-Walker, who was valedictorian of his 2012 high school class with a 3.98 grade point average, says education has always come first in his family.

“When I was in middle school, if I didn’t get my homework done, my mom wouldn’t let me go to basketball practice,” he says. “She just wanted me to take it seriously and to be a success in life.”

And it shows through his passion to give back. Dorsey-Walker regularly volunteers with ARISE Detroit Neighborhood Clean Up, the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, the Boys and Girls Club, and several other organizations that focus on teaching kids how to read.

“I feel it’s my duty to give back, to make our communities better, to have kids look up to us,” he says.

Dorsey-Walker wants to eventually earn a master’s degree and pursue a career in human resources. Although playing basketball professionally after graduation would be a dream come true, he says, a career that enables him to help people in his community realize their own dreams would be even better.

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