BYFIELD — According to Triton boys basketball coach Dave Clay, his senior center Mike Dullea is a man of intangibles.
“Sometimes the star players don’t want to do the things that will help make the team better, but he does,” said Clay. “He gives me his best every practice. All of the little things I need out of a player, he gives me and provides examples for and teaches the younger players.”
Standing at a wiry 6-feet, 1-inch, Dullea has never been a Viking star. Home-schooled until full integration during his junior year, Dullea played freshman hoops and made the JV squad in his sophomore year when Clay was still the JV coach. One night that season, Clay dropped Dullea into the middle of a game to start his JV career. The kid was clutch.
“He didn’t show any signs of fear,” said Clay. “He grabbed every rebound I needed him to grab, and just stood like a rock in the middle. He didn’t get very much playing time until then, and you never would’ve guessed.”
With a senior-heavy varsity team during his junior year, Dullea decided to remain on the JV squad in 2012.
“I said, ‘Well, I can take this season off, which would be pointless, or I can try to help the JV team and just work with them, and do the most I can this way,’” said Dullea. “There is no comparing JV to varsity, the intensity levels are miles different. But I would not have changed anything I did that season for any reason.”
“The team is what it is because of all of us,” said Dullea. “So when Coach Clay gives me credit for doing anything on the court, I tell myself that really is everyone else helping me out. I am just glad to be a part of the team.”