This 'fearless' sophomore is coming off bench for Galesburg's boys and he's making shots

·4 min read

GALESBURG — It just so happens that Galesburg High School's Ian Dominique Jr. has had former Silver Streaks star Eric Price around to help him hone his basketball skills.

The pair are cousins, and Dominique has learned a lot from Price, who netted 1,071 career points to finish 13th on Galesburg's all-time scoring list. He averaged 17.7 points per game his senior year.

The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association recognized Price's performance that season, as he was named to the organization's Class 3A Boys All-State team in 2020-21.

More: Galesburg's Eric Price IBCA All-State; Streaks' Riley Jenkins special mention for girls

Price is currently suiting up for Carl Sandburg College's men's basketball squad, and Dominique plans to make a name for himself on the hardwood.

So far things have been going well for the 16-year-old, who dons No. 12 for the Silver Streaks. Dominique is averaging just over five points per game, and the sophomore is shooting 41.5% from 3-point range for 18-5 Galesburg.

“This summer, we identified Ian as an absolute fearless competitor," Streaks coach Chad Thompson said. "Obviously, he’s a great 3-point shooter but there’s a lot more to his game that people are going to be able to see as his game develops.

Galesburg High School sophomore Ian Dominique Jr., right, looks for an open teammate near halfcourt during the Silver Streaks' 55-53 WB6 Conference loss to Quincy on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.
Galesburg High School sophomore Ian Dominique Jr., right, looks for an open teammate near halfcourt during the Silver Streaks' 55-53 WB6 Conference loss to Quincy on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.

“It’s amazing when you have such a young player contribute at such a high level. Ian has served in so many big moments for us. He’s never afraid to take a big shot. He wants the big shot," added Thompson, who is in his first season. "We just love how he plays, and he’s also a great kid. He’s an excellent student and role model to the community, and he just does a really good job for us."

Dominique is doing so coming off the bench, and he's normally Galesburg's sixth man.

“We bring Ian in if we see a matchup that we really like that he can exploit, and also Ian is a very good defender. We know he’s undersized but he’s a very good defender. He is fearless," Thompson said. “We like him offensively and defensively we like him, as well. He’s played very well against zone all year. His ability to stretch the floor for us has been huge.

"Ian shoots the ball with extreme confidence which is big, too," Thompson added. "It’s a lot easier as a coach to sub a guy in freely when you know his confidence level is never going to drop."

Dominique, who stands at 5-foot-8, is glad he's able to fill a role for the Streaks.

"I’m a team player. If my role is coming off the bench bringing energy, playing defense and hitting shots then I don’t mind as long as the team gets the win," Dominique said. "I don’t really mind coming off the bench.

“I don’t mind not being a starter especially on this team. We have a great group of guys 1 through 15."

Dominique began playing organized basketball as a Lombard Middle School seventh grader. However, he's had a rock in his hands for longer than that, and Dominique has become a shooter Thompson and company have faith in.

“If he goes 0-for-4 we’re only mad at him if he doesn’t shoot the fifth one. We have supreme confidence in Ian," Thompson said. “If we need a basket, we’re probably going to put Ian in. He might not necessarily get the shot but we want his scoring threat on the court in those situations as much as possible.”

Dominique wants to be in them, too.

“That’s what I do is shoot," Dominique said. "Shooters are going to keep shooting until they get their rhythm going, you know.”

Growing up, Dominique didn't always have good results when driving to his left and he struggled making space for himself when going that direction. Dominique has only improved along the way, and Price was pushing his family member before the 2021-22 season began.

“During the summer before the basketball season, we were going to the Y all the time playing one-on-one or pickup games," Dominique said of Price. "He also told me I’m one of the better players in my grade and he told me as long as I just play I’ll be good. He always had confidence in me growing up."

Slowly but surely, Dominique has become someone Thompson can count on, and he's not afraid to speak his mind to his teammates.

“Another thing we love is how well he communicates and his leadership skills," Thompson said. "Ian really is a true leader at a young age. He’s not afraid to get right in the mix with our seniors, with our juniors.

"We’re thrilled that he’s up with us right now and we’re looking forward to a great future for him," Thompson added. “Ian’s just another one of those phenomenal kids on our team. He’s a kid with high character.”

Matthew Wheaton can be reached at (309) 315-6073 or at mwheaton@register-mail.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewlwheaton

This article originally appeared on Galesburg Register-Mail: IHSA Boys Basketball: Dominique Jr fills big role for Galesburg as a sophomore

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