Brandon Dawson is a devout Christian who has played basketball collegiately at the D-1 level at Kennesaw State University. Breeze, as he is known as by friends and family, is a 23-year-old from Atlanta, GA. Brandon is a very humble young man and says that “The only reason I’ve gotten to where I am today is because of God and the family that he has blessed me with. It’s not because of my abilities; it’s been all of him and none of me.”
Brandon comes from a long line of successful family members. The close knit Dawson family is caring and loving but also knows when to push each other to get the best out of one another. He has two brothers; Nick who is 25 and Josh who is 21. Nick is a recording artist who is starting to make a name for himself in the Atlanta area and has brushed shoulders with some of the top labels in the industry. Josh currently plays defensive end at the University of Georgia and will be entering his senior season. The two brothers have played a big role in Brandon’s development as a person. “Both of my brothers have inspired me tremendously throughout the years. We all inspire each other, that’s what family does.”
At the age of four was when Brandon started to develop a love for the game of basketball and he has his father to thank. “He played in this men’s league when we were kids. He would take us to his games and I just remember watching him play, and him letting me hold the basketballs on the ride home.” The unique sights and senses of a cozy gym, which may be overlooked by those who haven’t played the game growing up, drew Brandon in. “I loved the way the ball felt in my hands, and the smell of a gym.”
After playing basketball for years, it was in the 8th grade against Redan Middle School when Dawson first realized he may be a step above his peers and have a chance at playing in college. “I had 19 points in the first half. From then on I never doubted it. For me, basketball was never about “making it” I knew I would make it. I just wanted to keep having fun with it.” Brandon’s ability to separate the pressures of playing basketball and the importance of having fun was soon tested in high school. He went to Tucker High School in DeKalb County which has to this day, been recognized as a perennial power in the state of Georgia. As a freshman Dawson suited up for the Tigers and watched as Tucker brought home its second state championship in school history. Though Dawson was not an integral part to the team’s success as he was called up from JV to join the bench for the run to state, he managed to see how Tucker greats such as MarShon Brooks and Manny Atkins carried themselves and learned from them.
Asked about what it was like playing for a prestigious program and playing with great players, Brandon said, “It was hard, but a lot of fun. We had coaches that held us to a higher standard, and demanded nothing but excellence from us. Coach [James] Hartry always told us to have fun and leave everything out there because playing basketball isn’t a right; it’s a privilege that can be taken away from you in an instant. Winning is hard, I was so fortunate to be a part of a team that won a state championship.”
Once Dawson’s recruiting picked up steam after a successful junior season, Brandon knew it was time to make a decision and ultimately decided to become a Kennesaw State Owl. “I prayed one night about it. I wanted to be signed before I started my senior season because I wanted to play my senior year and be free, not having to worry about where I was going to school. So I asked God to send me a sign one night, 15 minutes later I heard an owl outside of my window, and I knew then. So I called Coach Ingle the next day, set up my visit and became an owl.” Brandon would play three years at Kennesaw before transferring to pursue other things in life. After a one year hiatus, he would return back to continue studying at KSU. Now a senior, Dawson is studying Sport Management with the hopes of either becoming a sports agent or a coach. He has helped coach within the Tucker basketball program this season and already is beginning to give back to the community that helped shape him.
He says that he is still pursuing a basketball career but just for the short term as he has many other interests in his life such as cartoons and cars. Many would not guess it at first sight due to his tenacity on the hardwood, but ‘Breeze’ is a gentle man standing at 6-foot-5. He is very intellectual and loves to follow God and Jesus’s teachings. He is passionate about cars and considers himself a “cartoon connoisseur”. Brandon loves Dragon Ball Z and also classic cartoons such as Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry.
Becoming a well-rounded individual has taken some help and guidance along the way. “I can’t say it enough, I am truly blessed to have a family like the one I have. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. We don’t always see eye to eye, but at the end of the day it’s all love, and I know they’re always behind me 100%, and there’s no doubt about that” When asked about his strong bond with God, Brandon stated, “I can say this without any doubt, and I want to make sure that this is clear and understood, there is nothing that can happen in the world to shake my faith. I read the bible and I have a strong relationship with God. 365 times in the bible it says “do not fear.” So even when a situation has seemed bleak, I have always kept my faith in The Lord. And I can honestly say I’ve never been in a position where I didn’t come out winning because of this undeniable faith.”
Knowing Brandon for over two years now personally, I can truthfully say that he is one of the nicest people I have met in my time at Kennesaw. He cares about everyone he comes in touch with and wants the best for all his peers. I have no doubt in my mind that the man known as ‘Breeze’ will continue to be a role model for those around him and will continue to walk hand-in-hand with the Lord on his path to a long and successful life.