NHS junior Mazique plays with maximum effort on the courtPublished 12:01am Saturday, December 7, 2013
NATCHEZ — Every good basketball team needs a workhorse, a player that will give 100 percent in areas not always highlighted on the stat sheet.
One of those players for the Natchez High School boys basketball team is Dominique Mazique.
Mazique, a junior, may not put up a lot of points for the Bulldogs, but he crashes the boards for rebounds, plays sound defense and gets his teammates fired up with his hustle plays.
Assistant coach David Haywood said Mazique is a player that betters the Bulldogs as the season progresses.
“We needed someone onside of De’Arius Griffin, Gary Wood and Daryl Jones, and he’s been that missing piece,” Haywood said. “He’s that hustle guy that’s going to take the charge, get the rebound and get the steal. You need a player like that on your team.”
Haywood said Mazique’s work has a tendency to rub off on his teammates.
“He sets the standards high at practice, because he’s going at (100) percent all of the time,” he said. “He’s just one of those kids that works hard. When it comes to heart, determination and work ethic, I think he has one of the best in the area.”
Mazique said personal goals are his driving force at practice and in the game.
“I’m just thinking about winning; I just want the team to win,” Mazique said. “Our goal is to win district and try to get to the state championship.”
With the Bulldogs having early success this season, Mazique has been instrumental in the team’s early success. Just two weeks ago, Mazique hit the game-winning free throws against Ferriday High School with the game tied at 53 when time expired.
Mazique said he remembers the game vividly, and he remembers his thought process before stepping to the line.
“I just told myself to calm down, and just do what we’ve been working on in practice,” he said.
As he sunk both free throws for the 55-53 victory, he said the confidence to hit that shot came from the extra work he put in during the summer.
“I have gotten more confident, because I have been working on my game a lot over the summer,” Mazique said.
Though Mazique’s short-term goals include a state championship, it’s his long-term goal that make him the workhorse that he is today.
“I want to play basketball in college, but that’s what I have to work for, and that’s why I’m putting in work now,” he said.
The Bulldogs host Wilkinson County High School at home at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.