Joe Davidson

Why Sheldon's Dale Currie is the overwhelming pick for Bee Player of the Year

Sheldon guard Kaito Williams (12) and guard Dale Currie (0) celebrate their team's 61-60 victory against Bishop O'Dowd.
Sheldon guard Kaito Williams (12) and guard Dale Currie (0) celebrate their team's 61-60 victory against Bishop O'Dowd. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Dale Currie competes at two speeds: frenetic and faster.

The 6-foot-1 Sheldon High School senior guard was the driving force behind the region's top-ranked team that became the only one to reach this season's CIF State finals at Golden 1 Center.

His leadership and ability to impact games in myriad ways made him the overwhelming choice as The Bee's Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Currie averaged 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.1 steals. He led the 29-6 Huskies in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, deflections, charges and 3-pointers, and he led them to an undefeated showing in the rugged Delta League, past rival Folsom twice in the playoffs and then over Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland for the CIF Northern California Open Division championship.

Currie was also big on support. After going scoreless in a NorCal playoff opener against Memorial of Fresno, Currie was the first one to embrace teammate Dom Johnson, who scored the game winner at the buzzer.

What do you get when you face a player teammates and coaches call "Predator" for his bouncing dreadlocks and relentless effort?

"I'm going to come at you hard on defense and offense, and either way, you're going to have to deal with me," Currie said. "When I play 'D', I'll get in your head and you're not going to like it. Not by talking but by playing hard."

Said Sheldon coach Joey Rollings, "Dale did everything for us. Great player."

Currie grew up watching older brothers compete at Vintage Park, dreaming of becoming a star at nearby Sheldon. He was a role player as a junior when Sheldon reached the NorCal Open final and became a star this season.

Currie said he can be an example in two ways: for what he did on the court and for what he didn't do enough of in the classroom. A slow start to his academic career derailed any hopes of landing a scholarship, so Currie is headed to a community college to be determined.

"Basketball means a lot to me," Currie said. "It's a way of me getting out, to one day get a free education, and an education will make me a better person. I didn't take school seriously when I was younger.

"The more I grew, the more I saw I had potential. I sometimes think, 'Man, if I really tried my best, I could've ended up with a Division II or I scholarship.' But I'll go the JuCo route and work my butt off."

The message is?

"Be a good student first because basketball will end, but not knowledge," Currie said. "You can't play basketball forever, but you can be educated forever."

He added, "I have brothers who graduated late, or did continuation school. I'll be the first kid in my family to graduate on time. That inspires me."

Currie is also inspired by a sister – Kendra – he lost in 2015. She was shot and killed in a domestic dispute, He said. Currie wore a shirt before home games that included a picture of her face.

"It really hurt, and she was such a good person, full of laughter, and she's still a big part of me," Currie said. "This is a reason I want to be a sheriff or get into law enforcement, especially with all these shootings across the country, killing blacks. I want to learn about it, be a good cop, a cool cop, to be different, to be an impactful black cop who can connect with people in the community."

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