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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: A happy homecoming for Dadrian Hoambrecker

The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa — Matt Levins The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa

Jan. 14-- Jan. 14--Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

Dadrian Hoambecker can certainly attest to that statement.

Hoambrecker, who grew up in Burlington and played 2 1/2 seasons of basketball for Burlington High School, played his senior season at Iowa City West, where he played in the Class 4A state championship game.

Hoambrecker came back home last year to play for Southeastern Community College, helping the Blackhawks win the Region XI championship last year.

This year, the 6-foot-6 sophomore forward is blossoming into a reliable player off the bench, averaging 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds for SCC, which is ranked 25th heading into Wednesday's showdown with sixth-ranked Indian Hills at Loren Walker Arena in West Burlington.

For Hoambrecker, it truly is a homecoming.

"It feels good to finally get out there, It feels good to play for my hometown,"said Hoambrecker, who scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range and had two steals in a 65-42 victory at Marshalltown on Saturday in the Region XI opener. "I wanted to play for my hometown team and have an opportunity to win a ring for my town."

"He's been great. He's one of those kids who has come a long way since day one," SCC head coach Lorenzo Watkins said. "He's got to continue to get more and more confidence because I am going to have to throw him into the fire down the stretch and he's got to be ready to play. He's got to understand he has to play with a high energy level. That's something he didn't do early in the year, but he's getting to that level now where he understands that you are going to make mistakes. But if you make mistakes playing hard, I'm OK with that."

Hoambrecker got started in basketball at an early age, playing for James Madison Middle School, then Edward Stone Middle School.

When he was younger, Hoambrecker attend every SCC home game as a ball boy, dreaming of the day he could play for the Blackhawks.

"I started playing when I was four or five. My stepdad, Carlos Brown, got me into it. He had me around basketball all the time. I played at the YMCA a lot. It helped me a lot. That's where I worked out every day growing up," Hoambrecker said. "I was a ball boy here when I was younger for four or five years. I started in third or fourth grade and stopped after eight grade. So it's cool to be out here playing for them now."

Hoambrecker played for the Grayhounds as a sophomore, averaging 4.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. After playing the first nine games of his junior season, averaging 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds, Hoambrecker decided it was time for a change of scenery.

As a senior at Iowa City West, Hoambrecker averaged 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds, helping the Trojans reach the Class 4A state title game, where they lost to Cedar Falls, 65-45.

Hoambrecker had the opportunity to play for legendary coach Steve Bergman, one of the winningest coaches in state history. He also played alongside Patrick McCaffery, son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery.

Hoambrecker soak up the knowledge like a sponge.

"They teach you a lot. Play hard all the time. Defensive tactics. They help you with everything," Hoambrecker said. "It's a lot of fun being around all those guys and getting to go to state. I didn't have that opportunity here in Burlington. (The McCafferys) are cool. I liked playing with them. They should do pretty good at Iowa."

Hoambrecker, after seeing limited playing time with the Blackhawks last season, is becoming one of the key players off the bench for SCC, as shown with his performance at Marshalltown when he hit three clutch 3-pointers and had a steal which sent the Blackhawks on a big run just before halftime.

Hoambrecker is becoming more and more comfortable with his role, and he has his goals in sight.

"Play hard, rebound, score when I can. Do whatever I can to help the team win," Hoambrecker said. "My goal after this year is to get a Division I scholarship. First it's to get a ring here and then go DI."

"He's coming along. Now he's starting to understand what I need him to do," Watkins said. "I need him to bring energy. I need him to do a lot of what Diew (Moses) did last year. Just be that energy guy. He can be that rebounder. He's long. He's athletic. He puts it on the floor. He can get to the basket. He has some good moves. He just has to get in there and finish. I would rather have him go in there and miss a dunk than miss a layup. He jumps so high. Just get in there and finish."

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