There is no way of knowing where Josh Dollard would be had he not been kicked out of college three years ago. Chances are he wouldn’t be with the Halifax Rainmen.
But here Dollard is, 24 years old, chasing his dream of getting to the NBA, the same dream that took a hit when the Auburn Tigers dismissed the promising forward for a violation of athletic department policy in 2008.
He doesn’t talk much about what went wrong with the NCAA Division I school, only that he had “personal problems” and he’s matured since those days.
“Every day of my life is a growing-up process for me,” he says.
“I’m human, I make mistakes, but I try to learn from my mistakes, and I’ve become a better person on and off the court.”
After a year of Division II hoops at South-Carolina Aiken and another year in the Swiss A League in Geneva, Dollard has been an instant star with the Rainmen, already a Premier Basketball League leader in scoring, rebounds and blocks.
He’s not only a legitimate six foot eight, he’s got a seven-foot-three wingspan and what can only be described as go-go-gadget arms â€” attributes that might one day get him to the NBA.
“He has the body type and physical prowess to do it,” confirms Rainmen head coach Mike Evans, a longtime NBA scout and assistant coach.
Evans says Dollard can score at will, but improved conditioning and defensive play are what will one day earn him a bigger paycheque.
“The more committed Josh becomes, the more opportunities he will have at the next level,” Evans says. “He’s got to want it.”
The Rainmen have never graduated a player to the NBA, but Dollard has all the tools to put his name in the discussion â€” if he wants to.
“My dream is to play in the NBA,” he says. “But I’m taking it day by day. Wherever this road takes me, I’m ready to go. I’ll leave it in God’s hands.”