Pitman High basketball’s Dom Von Waaden is a standout student-athlete.
He came to the states from Germany just in time for his freshman year and became a four-year varsity player for Pride head coach Harvey Marable.
He was a key player for the Pride in capturing their first and only Central California Conference title two years ago, and if that wasn’t enough, he was a contributor in helping his squad kick off their second best start in program history this past fall.
For these reasons, Von Waaden was recognized among his peers as the 2017-18 Turlock Journal Player of the Year.
“I feel honored, that is really cool, and I didn’t expect it but I’m really happy and it is another thing to add to the season,” said Von Waaden. “It didn’t go as well or as expected at the end, but it is nice to hear and get the recognition.”
“He was a two-year starter and two years as sixth man,” said Marable. “We haven’t had one since Austin Keaton and Branson Garcia. They were special as basketball players and human beings, worked hard and remained humble through their four years.”
Von Waaden saw mostly success during his four seasons with the Pride. In fact, every team during that stretch amassed a winning record.
Von Waaden was also essential in the Pride winning their only CCC title, during the 2015-16 season. That year they went 16-9 overall and tied Turlock for the title with an 8-2 record.
“I am just really thankful for coach Marable and my teammates, who are as good as I was,” said Von Waaden. “Being part of the only team to win the CCC in program history my sophomore year, and being a two time first all-league selection, especially sophomore year and to be appreciated and all that, I am really happy about it.”
Von Waaden closed out his senior year averaging 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.
He also finished the year with two double-doubles and shot 79 percent from the free throw line.
He was recognized for his hard work after earning second team all-league honors as a sophomore and first-team in his final two seasons.
Despite getting off to a hot start during the year that saw early major wins over CCC foes Golden Valley and Turlock High, Pitman still fell out of the postseason spot after finishing in league at 6-6. They ended up going 18-9 overall after losing three of their last five.
“I wish we could have won league this year, but every game against GV, Turlock and Merced were all hard fights and we had a target on our backs since we had a great preseason record,” said Von Waaden. “Every team came out and fought hard against us. We took it a little light since we beat GV and Turlock by a lot early on, but when we faced them again, they fought and it brought us a bit down.”
Von Waaden is now looking to play at the next level, whether it be in another country or at the college level.
“I am definitely looking to play in Europe since I grew up there, would love to play in Germany, but would like to play in college here or some other country since basketball is my passion,” Von Waaden added. “I want to do it for long as I can. For now, there are a few options, I don’t know where to go… still looking.”
All-Area/All-Journal Boys Basketball Team
Player of the Year: Dom Von Waaden (Pitman)
Drew Pritchard (Denair)
Aiden Rocha (Delhi)
Steffin Winston (Denair)
Arik Bains (Turlock)
Christian Williams (Pitman)
Jonas Tate (Hilmar)
Max Tyson (Turlock Christian)
Cam Sherwood (Turlock)
Adrian Espinoza (Turlock)
Michael Anderson (Pitman)
Jacob Staton (Pitman)
Carter Azevedo (Hilmar)
Micah Blomenkamp (Turlock Christian)
Zack Silva (Turlock Christian)
Dylan Mann (Denair)
Eli Roos (Turlock Christian)