Sports

Federal Way's Dickerson headed to the University of San Francisco

Federal Way High School senior Cole Dickerson verbally committed to play basketball next year at the University of San Francisco last week. Dickerson led the state-champion Eagles in scoring (17.5 a game) and rebounds (8.21). He will sign his national letter of intent on Nov. 11.  - Casey Olson/The Mirror
Federal Way High School senior Cole Dickerson verbally committed to play basketball next year at the University of San Francisco last week. Dickerson led the state-champion Eagles in scoring (17.5 a game) and rebounds (8.21). He will sign his national letter of intent on Nov. 11.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

Federal Way High School senior Cole Dickerson is San Francisco bound.

The 6-foot-7 Dickerson recently gave a verbal commitment to play basketball next year at the University of San Francisco.

“I just liked everything about it,” Dickerson said. “The coaches and the players made it just feel like a home field. I fit right in. It’s a live environment.”

Dickerson will officially sign his national letter of intent on Nov. 11, the first day of the early-signing period for high school basketball players to accept their full-ride scholarships.

“He just fell in love with the place,” longtime Federal Way High School head coach Jerome Collins said. “This is a dream come true for Cole.”

Dickerson chose San Francisco over several schools, including Portland State, Pacific, Portland, Idaho, Eastern Washington and Washington State. San Francisco plays in the competitive West Coast Conference along with schools like Gonzaga and St. Mary’s. Dickerson’s only other official recruiting visit was to Portland State.

“I went into the process with an open mind,” Dickerson said. “But I got to know the players and coaches there and it just felt right being down there.”

Dickerson was the most consistent player for Federal Way all season long last year during their run to the program’s first-ever Class 4A state boys basketball title.

The forward led the Eagles in scoring at 17.5 points a game. He finished in double figures in 28 of Federal Way’s 30 games. Dickerson also led the Eagles in rebounding at 8.21 a game and blocked 56 shots during the regular season. He also shot 66 percent from the field (166 for 253). During Federal Way’s postseason run, Dickerson was named to the Class 4A state All-Tournament Team after averaging 17 points in their four victories in Tacoma.

He finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots during the Eagles’ quarterfinal win over Walla Walla, and 18 points in the title game win over Garfield.

Dickerson will join current Eagle teammate Isiah Umipig as Division I signees. Umipig, a 6-foot guard, verbally committed last month to play at Cal State Fullerton next year.

“I wanted to get everything out of the way before the season,” Dickerson said. “Last year, I talked about it with coach Collins and my family and came to the conclusion that I wanted to sign early.”

This will be the fifth year in a row that a Federal Way player has signed with a Division I college program. Terrell Smith inked with the University of the Pacific in 2006, Pooh Williams signed with Utah State in ‘07, Aaron Broussard signed with Seattle University in 2008 and Jeff Forbes is currently a freshman at Eastern Washington University.

San Francisco is coached by former NBA player and University of Kansas star Rex Walters. Last season, the Dons finished 11-19 overall and were the seventh-place team in the West Coast Conference. San Francisco lost to Pepperdine in the opening round of the WCC Tournament.

“Having him as the coach kind of helped my decision,” Dickerson said of Walters. “Where he was in college and in the NBA, that’s where I want to be and maybe he can help me get there.”

Dickerson can now totally focus on bringing another state title to Federal Way. The Eagles begin practice Nov. 16 and Dickerson and Umipig will be the only returning starters from last year’s team.

“We are looking pretty good,” Dickerson said. “Our goal this year is to maintain what we already have going.”

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