Dakota Whyte’s Wisconsin Wish Is Granted
Published by Michael Henry on October 18, 2011
On October 18, 2011, Dakota Whyte (5’8″, G, Notre Dame-Ajax, 2012) announced that she had given her verbal commitment to attend the University of Wisconsin and become a Badger next fall.
For Whyte, a great connection with newly appointed Badger Head Coach, Bobbie Kelsey and her staff, were among the deciding factors that led her towards making this decision. “They were always truthful and real with me and that is what I liked”, Whyte said. And because of the their straightforward, continual pursuit, the decision was made that much clearer for her. “They were just a perfect fit, and they were loyal and the visit went really well”, she recalls.
With all of the pressures that go along with adjusting to the style of play that comes with playing for a school in the Big Ten conference, the University’s academic workload and the larger crowds and expectations at games, Whyte will also be an ambassador of sorts. She is Wisconsin’s first Canadian basketball recruit, for a school that usually only looked to Canada for Hockey talent. She addresses the pressure to rise above all of the adversity, by looking at the putting into context and saying that “sometimes pressure is a good thing when you want to be great. My greatest [desire] is to play under pressure and become a seasoned leader, who will lead my teamates to greatness.” That sentiment, echos preparation that Advantage Basketball rep Coach Chris Smalling, has been looking to cultivate in her as of late. “Skill wise, she’ll be fine. Athletically I feel she will be able to get the job done because she’s a gym rat and likes to win. But, there is a transition between high school and D1 that requires a mental change.” He went on to explain that one of his focuses with her for the remainder of the year will be to focus on the portion of leadership that speaks to her being a vocal extension of her new Coach while on the floor.
Having aspirations for a career in the business world also played a decision making role in her Wisconsin selection. The sense that Whyte would also be able to marry the best of opportunities to get it done on the court, and learn from a faculty of business education leaders off the court was too good to pass up. “They have an amazing campus, staff and support for athletics that were happy about. The Business Center sold me. They are one of the top business schools in America.”
Whyte is a highly decorated player out of Ajax, ON, and is regarded by many to be amongst the top in the 2012 Class of Canadians. Her resume of recent accomplishments include overcoming injury this summer to lead her U17 Team Ontario to a 2011 National Championship averaging 14ppg, 5.2rebs and 4.2stls and also representing Canada at the FIBA 3-on-3 in Italy in 2011 and Singapore in 2010 as well as the 2010 Junior Cadette Team.
With the continuous backing of her step-father Gary and her mother Leisa, and influencial coaches from Coach Booker to Coach Day to Coach Smalling and several others, her foundation is pretty much set. Now, with a sense of freedom and anticipation of immense growth both on and off the court, Whyte is very excited about decision and an imminent renaissance. “I know without a doubt Wisconsin will develop a “New” me. I also think that Coach Bobbie is very good at what she does and she’ll introduce a new side of ball to me.”