A former Christiansburg High School and Radford University, Chris Dobbins, athlete has defied critics for most of his life. He was told he couldn’t shoot.
He wasn’t athletic enough. He’s too skinny. He didn’t play major college basketball. He lives in a small town and nobody will notice him.
Dobbins just shook his head at those doubters and has continued to train and work hard. All that effort has finally paid off with a tryout for the USA Select Basketball program. Now his journey as a basketball player is ready to take a new road as he will join the group in an international tour this fall.
“It’s still hard to really grasp that I was chosen,” he said Wednesday.
Stepping back in time, Dobbins averaged 14 points per game at CHS with eight rebounds.
He also excelled on the track, gaining attention from several small colleges like Radford University.
While at RU, he set several school indoor and outdoor records in the hurdles. The school dropped men’s track and again he was hit with another speed bump in his athletic career.
There was a two-year stint playing for the New River Community College Muskies basketball team where he averaged 20 points per game.
Now at the age of 25-years-old, he was starting to wonder if any dream of playing professional basketball was gone. He joined the real world and took a job at Wolverine in Blacksburg.
At 6-4, 235 pounds, he turned to fast break basketball at the Christiansburg Recreation Center to fill a void in his life, while always wondering, what if? For the past eight months, Dobbins has trained with Eric Wade with Top of Your Game Fitness on increasing his mobility and skills, always being prepared if another opportunity ever would come.
Earlier this week, he reached one of the rungs of his basketball ladder when he was named to an USA basketball team that will be given a chance to impress international basketball officials and gain a contract to play in Europe and other overseas locations.
“It’s my ultimate dream, and I hope to get an opportunity while on tour,” Dobbins said.
He hopes this can become a full-time job and enable him to give back to younger players here in the community.
According to its website, USA Select Basketball was formed to assist American basketball players find professional opportunities internationally.
The program is comprised of athletes that have completed their college NCAA eligibility, or are those like Dobbins who are looking for professional contracts internationally.
The final evaluation camp was two-days held last week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dobbins received word Monday that he was chosen for the team. Over 150 players reported to those tryouts. The USA Select team then whittled the numbers down to 20 players who will be taken overseas for a 20-game exhibition tour starting in August.
Scouts and general managers from many foreign teams were present at the Charlotte tryouts. It will be during the international tour that players like Dobbins can work to impress them even further with hopes of being signed to a contract.
Dobbins feels he brings strengths of being able to run the floor and get everyone involved in the game that could attract agents’ attention on the tour.
“It has always been my dream since when I was seven or eight years old. I always wanted to be a basketball player.”
Dobbins will have to raise monies to pay for expenses and lodging while on the tour. He hopes to start a Go-Fund campaign in the next few weeks to help with the estimated $5,000.