Friday, September 30, 2016

Legendary Florida 3-Point Ace Teddy Dupay Is Optimistic About Revitalizing Cambridge Christian

The name Teddy Dupay is synonymous with Florida high school hoops prosperity.

You may recall the pugnacious little 5-foot-10 guard pulling up from dang near half court. You may remember him piecing together offensive outbursts which are forever embedded in Florida high school hoops lore.

You may also recall the energizer bunny -like, 3-point assailant engineering game-altering spurts with deep shooting onslaughts and veritable scoring binges.

Any devout Florida hoops junkie could vividly recall Dupay's 70-point game (in 32 minutes) in a state playoff performance against Cooper City.

This particular shooting clinic solidified Dupay's 3,744-point career legacy at Mariner HS, where he torched foes to the tune of 41.5 PPG en route to earning Florida Mr. Basketball.

Dupay's fearless, unlimited, and prodigious NBA 3-point range garnered attention since he was a hyper-competitive and twig-thin 14-year-old.

The point guard's love for shooting kept the state buzzing for four straight years.

As Billy Donovan's first U of Florida recruit (Dupay committed as a sophomore), Dupay offered instant contributions as a 3-point ace and a distributor.

His stay with the Gators, however, included both turmoil and glory.

 Dupay was ultimately dismissed from the program for his role in a gambling scandal.

He took his game over the waters, thriving in Venezuela before embarking on a basketball Odyssey which featured stops in the NBA's minor leagues.

The road that followed was an uphill battle, the deadend of which resulted in a 30-day County Jail sentence. Dupay is now cognizant that he made mistakes, mistakes he has the wherewithal of deterring others from making.

Having smarted from wounds of the past, having sidestepped all derailing demons in his path, Dupay now orchestrates his own basketball Academy.

Having turned his life over to the Lord, Dupay is quick to cite Christian principles and emphasis on the education component as bedrock aspects of his system.

Basketball consumes the guy once known as Teddy Ballgame.

When he's not firing up shots and providing a deep and detailed regimen for personal instruction, he is engaged in Yoga and other methods of calming the mind.

Dupay is the rare exception of a media pariah and once-tarnished athlete who came close to letting his life spiral deeper downhill.

 With the mental fortitude and a resiliency he attributes to his faith in God, Dupay is back where he belongs: A 94x50 gym.

Life has given Dupay several challenges. Dupay said his potent faith ensures him everything will work out.

 His next challenge is a bit more daunting from a basketball standpoint.

This challenge is revitalizing an ailing program at Cambridge Christian, where Dupay is now the head coach.

"At Cambridge Christian what we're going to do is just create a culture of excellence. I mean that's the school's mission. We're going to teach these kids how to work hard. Teach them the time management. Teach them how to balance school and prioritize, obviously God before all."

Knowing Dupay's life was in order and witnessing his everyday work with his basketball Academy, several other local schools offered him a coaching position.

"I had some other offers the past several years. For me, people were misconstrued with what I was doing. I think for me to coach at a public school or to coach at a school where I couldn't openly speak to the kids to the experience wouldn't be the same. I just know what an amazing effect (turning my life over to the Lord) and positive effect it had on my life. It just changed the way I perceived everything. It changed the way I looked at bad things. For me to be in a place where I couldn't share that with the kids I just couldn't do it. And so I said no."

Then, Cambridge Christian came along.

"I really felt like what I wanted to do and what they wanted to do was really in alignment. We had the same goals."

Cambridge's ability to see past the negatives of Dupay's past helped win Dupay over.

"They said 'hey, we've seen that you bounced back. We've seen how you've turned the negatives into the positives. We've seen how you haven't let it defeat you. We see it as a very positive story that's the thing we want to teach our kids.' That was very empowering for me because hey, it is no secret that I made mistakes."

How will Dupay look to turn around a program that registered a woeful 9-13 record last year?

"We're going to play hard, we're going to play fast," Dupay explained.

"It's going to be a major test. We only won a handful of games last year. We already lost our best player to an ACL in football. He's going to be out for the season. I'm certainly not making any excuses. We're never going to judge our success on wins and losses. We'll play, we will compete. We're going to play, we're going to play the right way. We are going to do all the things we can control that make a great team. Our expectations in terms of wins and losses, we've tempered those quite a bit. We are setting realistic goals for ourselves."