By: Angad Ahluwalia (Athletic Communications Student Assistant)
A quick change of pace and a smooth crossover was what made the moment. It created the space needed for Dwayne Morton to reach the 1,000-point milestone on a 3-point shot and he was fouled.
At first, the accomplishment didn't register for Morton. It took a second, everything started to slow down, and the moment stood still. Then a glance over to the crowd and his teammates made it all seem real. Morton, who is shooting 94 percent from the foul line, stepped right up and completed the 4-point play at the 7:31 mark against Susquehanna University on February 1.
"You never predetermine what you're going to do," said Morton about the shot that gave him 1,000 points. "It's a plan for failure. I realized the amount of space I had made and that was a simple shot for me to pull up."
Being the first four-year player under head coach Tom Rose C'95 and becoming the 10th player in program history to reach 1,000 points, Morton has had quite the career at Goucher College. However Morton has had a strange trip around the world that led him to ending up in Baltimore.
As the son of parents who served in the United States Armed Forces, he never stayed in one place for very long until high school. From New York, to Baltimore, Italy, Colorado, Missouri, and back to Baltimore, Morton is very well traveled for his young life.
His mother served in Afghanistan and Iraq during his youth, which is when he spent time with his maternal grandmother in Baltimore. This is where Morton began his relationship with the area.
Despite moving around in his early years, he found a home in Waynesville, Missouri which is where he spent his high school years. This was home for him because his mom was stationed here.
"Waynesville was the first place that I stayed the longest in one place," said Morton. "It is where some of my best friends live."
Upon graduating from high school, Morton made his way back to Baltimore in the fall of 2016 to start his basketball career at Goucher.
Jim Meil, a former NCAA Division I assistant coach whose resume includes coaching down the street at Towson University, has been an integral part of Morton's growth as a basketball player. Meil met Morton at a Five Star camp in Baltimore when Morton was in seventh grade.
"He [Meil] saw potential in me and believed in me," said Morton. "He reached out to me and the rest is history."
Meil, who was coaching professionally in Europe at the time, was home for the summer and he grew to like Morton's ability and potential.
"We were together for two weeks and after that I started staying in touch with him more," said Meil. "I got to know his mom and dad and it became a very close relationship, much beyond basketball."
Watching Morton score his 1,000th was a tribute to the hard work and effort Morton had put into his game to this point. Meil has been his basketball trainer since seventh grade and the two have certainly come a long way from that Five Star Camp in Baltimore.
A lot of Morton's love of basketball grew from his father. His father had a love for the late Kobe Bryant (1978-2020). Growing up, Morton cherished the time he spent with his father and as he grew older, his love for Bryant grew as well.
Morton's father played semi pro football and Morton may not have ended up at Goucher if he continued in his father's footsteps on the gridiron. Morton played football until high school and could have possibly played at the NCAA Division II level.
Morton and his father's shared love for basketball and Bryant put football in the rear view window. Basketball grew as Morton's sport and a place for him to make a name for himself.
"The environment of basketball for me is just different", said Morton. "The complexity and how much goes into the game of basketball [is unbelievable, including] how mental and strategic it is."
Morton has come a long way since he first stepped foot on campus and with his career winding down, he wants to be remembered by his fans and teammates as a good player.
Morton played in 24 games in his freshman year with two starts. His second start of his season was ironically at home against Susquehanna when he notched his first of many 10-point performances on December 3, 2016.
A 21-point performance in the season-opener against Wilson on November 15, 2017 in his sophomore campaign gave a glimpse of what Morton would bring over the final three seasons in Baltimore.
Morton averaged 14.2 points per game as a junior and he posted a then career-best 31 points at home against Drew on February 2. It is a game that Morton looks back on as a defining moment in his career as he went toe-to-toe with one of the Landmark Conference's best players.
An off-season injury put a wrinkle to the start of his senior campaign. Morton then made a statement in back-to-back games after posting a personal-best 37 points against Cairn on December 30 and 33 points against Gallaudet nine days later.
"It's an honor to be remembered in general, but to be remembered in any way would be an honor to me," said Morton.
Morton joined an exclusive club that only has nine other members and the first in almost 13 years. The 1,000-point club is one way that Morton will be remembered for his time in Baltimore, but Morton's journey will continue long after he graduates.