Dozier dominates at the next level after overcoming obstacles

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

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Every high school athlete dreams of an opportunity to play at the next level. Most athletes dream of going to Division I. Former Lanett standout Kintavious Dozier has now made it to that level, but he first had to seize all the small opportunities along the way. 

Dozier graduated from Lanett in 2021, and since then he has gone on to become the leading scorer for Grambling State, a team that is currently at the top of the standings in the South Western Athletic Conference.

Dozier’s journey to Division I did not happen overnight. Coming out of high school in 2021, Dozier did not have an opportunity to go to Division I. Instead, Dozier elected to work his way up from the JUCO level at Gadsden State Community College. 

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“I was blessed to go to the next level anyway,” Dozier said. “I really just kept my work ethic the same and put God first. I’ve got a lot of faith in the most high because he put me in a great position. I really just had to seize the moment, take control of my moment, control the things I could control, and I knew the rest would work out.”

Dozier’s time at Gadsden State helped prepare him for the next level. The environment, coaching staff and overall culture of the program allowed Dozier to put everything else to the side and dominate the court each night. 

“I was just around a good environment,” Dozier said. “A bunch of people that wanted to see me succeed because they also saw me putting in the work. I’m a pretty serious person when it comes to my career. They really just supported me in everything that I did. The rest was easy, just go be me.” 

In his final season with the Cardinals, everything clicked for Dozier. In his sophomore season, Dozier averaged 29 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game. Dozier led all scorers in the NJCAA. 

After the season, Dozier decided to take his talents to the next level. Grambling State became the easy choice for Dozier as coach Donte’ Jackson and the rest of the staff quickly made the university feel like a home for Dozier. 

Dozier was now at the level he had always dreamed of, but he also had to make adjustments to his game. 

Dozier quickly found out that Division I basketball is a different beast. The players were faster, the game was faster and Dozier had to learn his role on a new team. 

“Coming to play on the Division I level, it’s a different type of movement,” Dozier said. “You’ve got to be serious and there’s so many details to it. You’re playing with other great basketball players also. It’s really all about finding what you can do, finding your role on the team and just excelling in that.”

Dozier also had to make changes to his workout routines and his focus in the weight room. In the past, the weight room had been a place for Dozier to get bigger and stronger. Now in his junior season, Dozier learned how to use the weight room to keep himself healthy and more mobile. 

“I took the weight room very seriously when I was in like the 11th grade in high school,” Dozier said. “The more I got older, it was really all about training to stay healthy. I do workouts that strengthen my knees, and my ankles. Really a lot of mobility work.”

The changes did not come easy at first, but Dozier had flashes early on that gave his coaches and teammates faith in him. 

Quickly, Dozier began to develop his mental processing and overall knowledge of the game. Backed by the faith of his teammates Dozier began to shine as one of the best players in the conference. 

“When I first got here, there was a lot of figuring out to do,” Dozier said. “It’s really all about trial and error. The coaches believed in me, my teammates believed in me, and I really appreciated them. It was mental. Figuring out what to do at the right times.” 

Dozier has now found a new home at Grambling State, but his time in Lanett helped build the foundation for where he is today. 

Over the course of his time at Lanett High School, Dozier was impacted by several local coaches. The most important coach for Dozier was his brother Dante Wade. 

Dozier trained with Wade every day at 5 A.M. The two would also do late-night workouts, often working on Dozier’s skills up to three times a day. 

“He was the one that really got me started with it,” Dozier said. “He really believed in me. He mentored me, and as I got older I was able to process a lot of things because of him. I was already one step ahead in that area.”
Wade’s belief in Dozier helped to get him to that next level, from there Dozier just continued to overcome each obstacle in his path. 

Just like Dozier, several athletes from small schools like Lanett find themselves overlooked. Dozier believes that it is important for those athletes to take advantage of every small opportunity. 

“I would tell them, it can’t rain forever,” Dozier said. “Trust your work and trust God. No matter what level, take control of your moment.” 

Dozier is dominating the court in his first season with Grambling State, and he has already received two conference accolades. 

“It means a lot of course because I put in the work,” Dozier said. “I know what I do behind closed doors so it really means a lot that I can showcase it on the basketball court. I just want to win and see everybody happy. I got those [accolades] because of my coaches and because of my teammates.” 

Over the next two seasons, Dozier hopes to continue making his teammates better and growing as a basketball player. 

Dozier’s ultimate goal is to make an NBA roster. There will no doubt be challenges to face along the way to get to that point, but Dozier has made a habit of overcoming challenges and doubters.