PLAIN CITY — Fremont High’s gymnasium is going to be a well-visited gym by Division I college coaches over the next three years. That’s because the Silver Wolves have a sophomore and a freshman who already have five D-I offers between them
But maybe the most difficult part about playing the Silver Wolves isn’t coming up with a way to defend agile 6-foot-3 sophomore center Emma Calvert or uber-talented 6-foot-3 freshman forward Timea Gardiner.
It might be figuring out the smaller, faster junior forward Haylee Doxey.
“If you think I’m undersized, I’m going to out-jump you, I’m going to out-rebound you,” she said.
Doxey flies under the radar in some respect because D-I coaches aren’t flying across the country to watch her. But she plays with a certain aggressiveness, an edge, that embodies everything Lisa Dalebout wants from her team and that anyone’s going to take note of.
“I think Haylee kind of personifies the toughness that you’re always trying to teach and the extra hustle plays that you’re trying to teach. She’ll always put her body on the line. Sometimes, I don’t want her to do it as much as she does,” Dalebout said.
Doxey’s the person Dalebout says keeps the team motivated, together and rolling on its accelerating pace, the “glue” girl.
A lot of times, Doxey is the first person to take a charge and the first person to dive for a loose ball. That tenacity, edge, aggressiveness — however one wants to describe it — is something Doxey says comes from her family.
“I have 14 siblings, so I have to fight my way to do anything there,” she said.
Doxey is the 10th of 15 children and grew up, like a lot of kids, playing basketball against her siblings where there are never any fouls called, where it’s all about escaping with minimal cuts and bruises.
“It’s kind of dirty,” she said with a laugh.
“We can play 5-on-5 with subs of five, so I mean, we always are playing basketball outside, or just messing around and shooting. (There’s) lots of practice, like playing against my big brothers.”
If you ask Doxey ‘What’s up?’ her response might be that the ceiling is up, or gas prices are up. Anyone who has to guard Doxey in a game will see very quickly that she’s physical and isn’t going to back down from anyone.
Doxey was one of the first freshmen Dalebout started at Fremont and it was somewhat out of necessity. Getting thrown into the fire her freshman year was scary for Doxey, but she studied the playbook and can point out where players need to go for any play.
“She really does know every single play at every single position and right now when you have a young team, that’s actually really crucial,” Dalebout said.
Fremont has won every game so far this season, two of which came against fellow 6A title contenders. The stakes ramp up as much as they can in non-region play Thursday when the Silver Wolves visit Bingham, the team they beat by 14 in last season’s state title game.
They’re technically a young team in age, but not basketball experience. The Silver Wolves start a junior (Doxey), three sophomores (Calvert, point guard Halle Duft and guard Averee Porter) and a freshman, Gardiner.
Both Doxey and Calvert started and were huge factors on last year’s region and state title-winning team, Duft basically played starter minutes and Porter was a regular off the bench.
As for Gardiner, she was the only girl this summer who wasn’t a rising senior on the Natalie Williams Basketball Academy Gauntlet Platinum club team, one of the more high-level club teams in the state. She’s being courted by pretty much the entire Pac-12, which speaks to her raw talent and potential.
“We’re long and lengthy, and we have talent and play good as a team,” Doxey said.
Again, the youth is a misnomer. They’ve done this before.