MMA postgrad basketball team retires Dodd’s jersey

Damonte Dodd was a key part of the most successful postgraduate boys basketball team in the history of Massanutten Military Academy.

At 6-foot-10, Dodd was an intimidating defender around the rim who earned a four-star ranking from Scout.com before landing at the University of Maryland, where he has since played a prominent role for the Terrapins and will soon begin his senior season.

But for MMA postgrad coach Chad Myers, Dodd’s impact on the prep school and its hoops program stretched beyond the center’s talent on the court. Myers called Dodd the ideal combination of student, cadet and basketball player during his year at MMA in 2012-13.

MMA’s postgrad basketball program retired Dodd’s No. 42 jersey Friday evening for exactly that reason.

“He’s selfless. He’s a good person. He spent time with the young kids on campus. … He was just about all the stuff that people think of Massanutten, helping kids out,” Myers said of Dodd, the first MMA postgrad player to have his jersey retired, in a phone interview before the ceremony Friday afternoon.

“He did all the right things while he was there and continues to do that. So for us it’s almost like he’s one of the biggest role models for our guys coming in the future and obviously of the students on campus. I think along with his basketball career – he’s continued to be good playing in the Big 10 (at Maryland) – I think it’s as much off the court stuff, the type of person he was that’s also a big reason why he’s one of the first guys (to) get their jersey retired.”

Dodd, a native of Centreville, Maryland, who attended Queen Anne’s County High School, joined MMA’s postgrad program for the 2012-13 school year. That season the Colonels, loaded with future Division I talent, attained the program’s first national No. 1 ranking in December and held that status until a season-ending loss in the National Prep Championship Elite 8.

Myers said Dodd averaged 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Colonels that year while blocking between three and four shots a game.

In three seasons at Maryland, Dodd (now listed at 6-foot-11, 250 pounds) has played in 93 games, including 45 starts. He led the Terrapins with 51 blocks as a sophomore in 2014-15 and is averaging 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Last season, when Maryland reached the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16, Dodd averaged 2.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and had 30 blocks in 36 games.

Myers said the same selflessness that highlights Dodd’s character is the driving force to his success on the basketball court.

“He’s never really needed the ball. We never had to call a play for him,” Myers said. “He always ran the floor. He always played defense. He always tried to block shots. He always hedged on ball screens and traps or whatever you asked him to do. He’s maybe one of the most coachable kids I’ve ever been around.”

Myers had also planned for MMA to retire the jersey of former Colonel and current Kansas University starting point guard Frank Mason on Friday but Mason was unable to make the trip to Woodstock. Myers is trying to set up another ceremony for Mason in October, he said.

Myers added that he is considering retiring the jerseys of other former MMA standouts, as well.

“We’re trying to build a big alumni boost for our guys, obviously spend time with our alumni, use them as a resource,” Myers said. “Obviously we want them to come back year-round. So it’s something we’re trying to grow with our alumni and start doing stuff like this for those guys as well.”

The Colonels open the 2016-17 postgrad season with an exhibition game against Middleburg Academy at home on Oct. 12.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com.