Great article about AVC’s Dwan Caldwell from the AV Press’, Eric Smith.
Caldwell signs full-ride with Tennessee Tech
By: Eric Smith Website: ericlouissmith.net Twitter: Eric_L_Smith
LANCASTER – Dwan Caldwell spent his 25th birthday last weekend roughly 2,000 miles from home.
Yet despite being far from his family and friends, the Antelope Valley College sophomore center had plenty of reasons to celebrate,
Caldwell signed a full-ride scholarship with Tennessee Tech University on Sunday, fulfilling a dream many thought was dead a few years ago.
"It was my birthday weekend," Caldwell said. "They wowed me as soon as I got off the plane.
"Everything they said, they stood behind and had facts backing it up. And they had a little party for me."
Caldwell is coming off a season where he averaged 11 points and 7.7 rebounds per game as a strong inside presence for the Marauders.
AVC head coach John Taylor said one of the 6-foot-8 center’s best qualities was his strong veteran leadership.
"He brought the guys together," Taylor said. "When he played well it always seemed like we played well."
That was one aspect of Caldwell’s game that attracted Tennessee Tech, a school Caldwell picked over Ohio University and Utah State.
"I had a workout with their guys and I was the most vocal guy there," Caldwell said. "Leadership was something Tennessee Tech said they didn’t have last year."
Caldwell’s journey to the Division 1 school has been nothing short of remarkable.
Caldwell graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 2006, but didn’t play basketball for a handful of reasons.
After becoming a playground legend of sorts while working a myriad of jobs, Caldwell finally caught a break when he was introduced to Taylor by a friend.
"I just thought I would be a 9-5 worker," Caldwell said. "I had that set in my mind.
"But I feel like AVC gave me a second life. Everyone has told me that it would make a good movie."
For as quickly as Caldwell has progressed, Taylor said he expects more of him at the next level.
"For someone to do that well after never playing high school basketball, it’s unusual to say the least," Taylor said. "He blossomed into a really good player for us this year.
"And I don’t think he’s reached where he could be. He has a ton of upside."
Caldwell, who helped the Marauders win 44 games in his two seasons, will be joined in Tennessee by his wife and son.
The affable Caldwell, who also has two daughters who will visit him on occasion, said he’s going to miss the Valley.
"From where I’ve come from, everything that’s happening to me right now is a blessing," Caldwell said. "Being away to go to school for two years and not have to worry about rent or bills or anything is great.
"Right now I’m just loving life. I couldn’t ask for a better situation."