CJ guard headed to UD as preferred walk-on after two state semifinal appearances at UD Arena

Evan Dickey ranked third on the Eagles in scoring last season

The Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team hasn’t had a scholarship player from the Dayton area since the 2019-20 season when St. Henry graduate Ryan Mikesell and Wayne grad Trey Landers represented the Miami Valley on the roster.

The 2023-24 roster will have a heavy Dayton presence, however, with three walk-ons from nearby high schools: Alter’s Brady Uhl, who’s entering his third season; Oakwood’s Will Maxwell, who announced his commitment on Monday; and Chaminade Julienne’s Evan Dickey, who like Maxwell is an incoming freshman joining the team as a preferred walk-on.

While Maxwell picked Dayton in part because of his family’s deep history with the school, Dickey has a connection to Dayton coach Anthony Grant. Dickey is a close friend of Grant’s youngest son, Makai, a teammate and fellow member of the class of 2023 at CJ.

“He’s a great guy,” Dickey said Tuesday of Grant. “He doesn’t have to yell at you to get you to do stuff. He’s just a good person. I love him. I’ve been around him for a while. He could be like a father figure to me basically. I feel like he’ll influence me to work more because I wouldn’t want to disappoint my father.”

Dickey, a 6-foot-4 guard, will start workouts on campus with the Flyers on Monday. He averaged 10.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists for a team that finished 26-3 and lost 56-54 to Rocky River Lutheran West in the Division II state semifinals at UD Arena.

Grant saw Dickey play often in his high school career because Makai was also on the team. While Dickey lacked Division I scholarship offers, he did have an opportunity to be a preferred walk-on at Duquesne. That’s when Grant offered him a spot on the roster.

“He said he could offer me basically the same thing, and I’d be able to stay home in the city where I’m from,” Dickey said, “I’m like, ‘That’d be just a great opportunity for me.’”

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Dickey is also a good friend of Maxwell. They’ve known each other since the third grade. They both decided to attend UD around the same time earlier this spring. Now both will experience UD Arena in front of 13,000-plus fans next season.

“Dayton loves basketball,” Dickey said. “There’s going to be great energy every single time I go in there.”

Dickey started for CJ in the state semifinals as a sophomore in a 51-34 loss to Columbus St. Francis DeSales. He was scoreless in that game but had 13 points in the loss to Lutheran West in March.

After that game, CJ coach Charlie Szabo said Dickey had one of the most storied careers in school history.

“He’s not a guy who has to take every shot,” Szabo told told Dayton Daily News columnist Tom Archdeacon. “He’s not a guy who feels he has to score 20 points to impact a game. He does so much for us that’s unseen. He guards the other team’s best player. He helps bring the ball up. He helps control the ball late. He rebounds. He led the GCL (Greater Catholic League) in assists or at least was right up there. He’s been Mr. Everything.”

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