Photo courtesy of Dave’s Joint
By David Cordova
Every year, there thousands of prospective basketball players that go unnoticed around the country. However, if you have plenty of talent, chances are you will be found and if a college coach does take a chance on you, you have to be ready to show and prove.
Quran Dublin has done that and more. In the last two years, he has been dominating at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and dominating in the CUNYAC (City University of New York Athletic Conference). And because of that, he is currently a Division III NJCAA All-American. But although his talent has been exceptional, colleges still continue to overlook him.
The 6-foot-1 guard is a lights-out scorer that loves to shoot the ball from long range and can also score at will whenever he gets to the basket. Because of that, he was one of the best players in the CUNYAC and set plenty of records in his time there.
For those that don’t know him yet, here’s his story:
When asked what motivates him to be successful on the court, he replied, “Family, I can say that. That’s the first thing I think about, family. You know, I’m just trying to get everyone [in the immediate family] out the hood, just make everyone happy, at the end of the day and I’m not going to sit here and say I needbasketball to be successful, because there’s other things I’m very good at with school, but with basketball, getting paid to do what I love, can open up other doors for other things I love to do.”
Dublin, a native of Harlem, has a certain swagger on the court that people from that section of Manhattan carry with them. When asked about growing up there, he replied, “I mean, everyone knows how Harlem is, there’s days where there’s bad days and there’s good days, but for me, I’m not going to sit here antd tell you a story, like, ‘This is a bad…,’ Nah. It’s rare, like where I come from, it’s rare that there’s a bad day. Mostly, the only thing I did was just stay across the street in the park and play ball, and then go upstairs, that was most of my days growing up. I’d be with my friends hooping, and that’s it.”
On the basketball culture in Harlem, he replied, “It’s nothing but talent, anywhere you go, there’s talent, from one block to the next, there’s talent everywhere in Harlem. Like New York City basketball is just, like, the best. Whatever position, you’re going to find someone that’s good, anywhere, whether it’s Harlem, Brooklyn, Queens, anywhere, you’re going to find someone that’s good.”
Every player has that one hallowed ground that they dream of playing on. For Dublin, the one battleground that he would like to hoop at is none other than the Monsignor Kett Playground, the home of the Dyckman Basketball Tournament, which is located in the Inwood section of Manhattan.
When asked about wanting to play at Dyckman, he replied, “Never played there, never played in Dyckman, never played in Rucker. The two big courts, I never played there at all. ‘Cause I can say that no one knew me, no one really knows who I am, no one knows where I was from, nobody knew me until, probably now, but even now, people probably still don’t know who I am. Dyckman and Rucker is where I would like to play at. I played in Tri-State, West 4th, but Dyckman and Rucker, that’s where your name really gets out there.”
In high school, he attended Mott Hall High School in Harlem, but played for Bread and Roses, another school in the same building. As a senior, he averaged 22.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
On his high school years, Dublin replied, “I went to Mott Hall High School on 135thStreet and Edgecombe Avenue and it was mixed at the time with Bread & Roses, and I played for Bread & Roses, because those two high schools was combined in a sense. So, Mott Hall students could play for Bread & Roses.”
On playing for Bread & Roses, he added: “It was fun, it was definitely a learning experience as well, like, my sophomore year, I was probably the youngest on the team, I was playing with Kirt [Shuemacher] and Qaeshawn [Berry] and other guys from that area that was on the team, and it was really a fun experience. We should’ve went all the way that year, but we didn’t, but it was really fun. Coach Fred, Coach Corey, Coach Jimenez and Coach Ali, I still remember all those guys ‘til this day, because of how they coached all of us, and me, I always take whatever a coach tells me, and I keep it with me forever, so I’ll never really forget. But playing at Bread & Roses kind of built me to where I’m at now.”
After graduating from Mott Hall, Dublin took some time off from school, and then after his break, he went on to a Northwest Kansas Technical College, Kansas in Goodland, Kansas, where he only lasted a semester before coming back to the city.
When asked about his time in Kansas, he replied, “They told me over the phone, like, ‘Yo, you’re going to have a scholarship,’ this, that and the third. At the time, I was 18 turning 19, and once I heard D-I scholarship, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m out, I’m going to start that dream now.’ But when I got there, it was just a whole different story. So, I just told them, ‘I’m not happy here, I’m gonna go home and go to school there.”
After leaving Kansas, Dublin decided to enroll at BMCC and then the rest was history.
“So, when I came back my freshman year at BMCC,” he said, “My teammate, also my brother who lives right down the block from me, Lawrence Todman, he went here, and I told him, ‘Yo, bro, I’m coming to your school, and like, we’re going to make it happen,’ and he was like, ‘iight, bet,” And then I was coming here for their games in the fall, and I just loved the atmosphere there and the energy, so I was like, ‘Yeah, I could see myself playing here.’ And knowing that ‘Rell [Fullerton] was here as well, I knew him since high school as well and before, so I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m definitely going to come here.’ So, I decided to come here.”
As a freshman for the Panthers, he emerged as the leading scorer, averaging 21 points, while adding 6.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, while leading them to a 21-9 record and a CUNYAC championship.
This past season as a sophomore, Dublin went on a scoring rampage, averaging 24.6 points, while adding 5.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, and leading the Panthers to a 20-9 record and another CUNYAC championship. Due to his outstanding performance this past season, which included five games in which he score 30 or more points, and two games in which he had 40 or more points, he would win the CUNYAC Player of the Year award, All-Region First Team and also NJCAA Division III All-American honors.
When asked about his two years at BMCC, he replied, “It was great, like, I learned a lot from Coach G [Tommy Guerin], from Coach Mike [Hussein], Coach [Jonathan] Ramos, all my coaches, they really helped me a lot. They helped me build my confidence, even more than I can imagine honestly, like, freshman year, to me, was the beginning. I never really worried too much about the accolades and all that other stuff, that just came with the process, I just wanted to win, and do what I could to make sure we did win, we had some losses here and there. And then this year, we should’ve definitely took it all, that was the whole goal, that was my whole mindset coming into this year, but not everything goes as planned, but this year was definitely fun as well, and I’m going to definitely miss this school and this program.”
In one of the biggest games of the season, the CUNYAC championship game at BMCC’s gym, on February 15th, Dublin came up big, scoring 41 points against Hostos Community College, and leading them to a 104-90 victory, and a second straight CUNYAC title.
When asked about that big-time performance in such a crucial game, he replied, “So, prior to the game, like a couple of days before, we were at the CUNYAC dinner, and some of the Hostos players, you know, Nakeem [Hamilton], Korey [Williams], they were nominated all-stars, you know, shoutout to those guys. And they was coming at us like, ‘Listen, we’re gonna beat y’all, like, you know, we’re gonna get this game.’ Me, Viktor [Kovacevic] and Ashan [Adams], we were just looking at them, and I was like, ‘I’m not gonna say too much, like, I’m gonna let my game, and everything else, speak for itself.’ So, the day of the game, I don’t know if you noticed, but the day of the game, Nakeem, he was in my ear, talking, talking, and then he like, hit my butt, and I’m just like, ‘Should’ve never done that,’ Like, me, when I play, I don’t talk, I don’t talk smack, I don’t show no emotions on the court, so what they said prior to the game before at the dinner and then him doing that, whatever happened after that happened. The 41 [points] wasn’t on me, like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna go get 40,’ it just happened.”
When asked about strengths and weaknesses in his game, he replied, “Right now, to me, nothing. I know I have to work on things, but strengths, obviously my best attribute is shooting, and I can also pass, you know, I can get to the rim. You know, weaknesses, don’t really see no aspect there, I can say that I have to get a little better on defense, but in this day and age, the guards now today, some people are tough to guard and the way they call fouls, you can’t really handcheck. I grew up on hand checking, so not being able to do that, takes away from being all aggressive on defense how I would want to be. So, it’s like, strengths and weaknesses, I don’t really look at that like, I don’t see that anywhere in my game, I just know I can improve in all aspects of my game.”
Although he graduated from BMCC last week, he is still in the process of choosing a school for his bachelor’s degree and where he can play for his remaining two years of eligibility. When asked what a school will have to have to land his services, Dublin replied, “Well, since I already went away to school, they don’t have to have anything. It’s just honestly how I feel about like my feeling for the school when I first get there. Like how I told you when I first came to BMCC, like I loved the energy and the atmosphere, and I saw myself playing, and I saw myself on that court, in that uniform. I don’t care about the area, like, I’m there for school and ball, so like, the area, it’s not going to be, ‘I like the area,’ No, as long as I get a good feel for it, that’s going to make my decision.”
At his next school, he wants to major in Business Administration, which was the same major he studied at BMCC. He said that if playing basketball doesn’t work out, he would form a partnership with an uncle who is also a chef and then later start up his own business.
However, he is adamant that he plans to make basketball a career, as well. “Well, me, personally, I know whatever school I do go to next, I know I’m going to do what I do best with basketball. I’m going to perform an if I go there for a year or two years, I feel like I could go, not pro, obviously, maybe not the League, right away, but like overseas, G-League. I have a great support system that can get me there. So, right after school, if I have a chance to go pro, I’ll go pro.”
Wherever he goes, Quran Dublin will definitely be an asset to that program. Not only as a ball player, but a person. He is a respectful, yet, soft-spoken person, but is also an assassin on the court who revels in a quiet nature. Chances are, the future for him will be bright. And pretty soon, more people will now his name.
Highlights of Quran Dublin: