Josiah Dotzler is following his older brother to Creighton men's basketball, but it’s his journey and his path.
“I've been called Josh's little brother ever since I was starting to play basketball in third grade," said Dotzler, Bellevue West’s returning all-state point guard. “I feel like I'm starting to make a name for myself.”
“It’s nothing I'm trying to push to do but I think, just me as a player being able to show what I can do and people learning more about me.”
Dotzler was among the near 90 known Nebraska high school athletes signing their Division I letters of intent Wednesday, with scores more signing with other colleges.
Josiah signed 18 years after Josh Dotzler was in the Bellevue West gym for his signing ceremony with the Bluejays. Josh Dotzler was their starting point guard for most of the time between 2005 and 2009, missing part of his sophomore season when injured.
“Since he's gone through the experience I think the best thing from him that I've gotten is just his advice," Josiah said. “He has a really, really good way of putting into words good ways of giving me advice. I think I can just learn from his mistakes and his benefits and take it to create my own path while learning from what he did.”
Doug Woodard, who’s coached both brothers at Bellevue West, said Josiah has wanted to play on a high level for a long time.
“Whenever you’ve had a brother who’s been that accomplished," Woodard said, “there has to be some external pressure and probably some internal pressure to live up to that, but he’s carved his own path.
“He’s worked extremely hard on it. He’s probably spent more time in the gym than just about anybody and it’s paid off.”
Josiah has been committed to the No. 9 Jays since this past summer. He’s waited for signing day.
“I've been in the stands watching people sign for a long time and it's just a great feeling to be one who's signing,” he said.
In men’s sports, Millard South’s Cam Kozeal signed with Vanderbilt baseball and Joel Adams with Michigan wrestling, Omaha Westside’s Nate Germonprez with Texas swimming, Lincoln East’s Sam Cappos with Arizona State track and field and Bennington’s Kael Lauridsen with Nebraska wrestling. Baseball signings also included Elkhorn North’s Ryan Harrahill with NU, Elkhorn South’s Cole Eaton to Tennessee and Eli Small to Kentucky, Millard West’s Drew Deremer to Iowa and Wayne’s Brooks Kneifl to Kansas State.
Omaha Skutt’s Jake Brack, to South Dakota, was the only other Division I signee in men’s basketball.
In women’s sports, Bridgeport’s Ruthie Loomis-Goltl signed with Colorado basketball, Millard South’s Mya Babbitt with Kent State basketball and Elkhorn South’s Jaci Sievers with Tennessee track. Volleyball signings included Elkhorn North’s Grace Heaney to Purdue, Westside’s Destiny Ndam Simpson to Creighton, Papillion-La Vista South’s Stella Adeyemi to Hawaii, Millard West’s Alanna Bankston to Louisville and Omaha Skutt’s Morgan Burke to Michigan.
Baseball and women’s soccer, volleyball and softball each had double-digit Division I signers.
Photos: Creighton men's basketball gets win over St. Thomas in season opener