Thanks to on-going support and a tireless work ethic, the Lawton, Oklahoma native is doing whatever it takes to win a championship in Shawnee in ’23.
Over the course of the 2023 season in The Basketball League, players, coaches, and Team Market Owners alike will take time to openly share their compelling stories and individual journeys from around the country and overseas to ultimately reach the TBL. In their own words. In their own way. Written only by them.
This is his turn.
This is Tevin Foster’s story.
Shawnee, Oklahoma — My IQ of the game and the ability to guard and score all three levels allows me to be an unselfish player.
The game can be easy when you know how to read it, and know how to create for others as well. Sometimes there may be games where I have only 5 points but I know I went on the floor, and gave positive minutes whether it was guarding, rebounding, or getting other teammates shots as well. I’m all about doing whatever it takes to win.
Mr. David Qualls (TMO of the Potawatomi Fire) is my guy. First and foremost I want to thank him for making this all happen. I can honestly say it is a blessing to be a part of this organization. You would think you were in the NBA the way he has things set up. That’s nothing but motivation for me, and I’m thankful for that. I’ve always had dreams of touching the G-League and getting that 10-day contract to play a role in the NBA. I know your work ethic has to be crazy. The focus level has to be high. And it all has to be consistent every single day. It’s not easy, and it’s not easy winning s championship, and that’s why I grind so hard during the offseason. I want to be able to perform at high level to help my team win when my number is called. As an undersize guard I was taught that I had to grind 10-times harder consistently, because in the sports profession it’s hard. Everyone is trying to eat and feed their families.
I have always had that grit, and go get it mentally. With that being said, it has carried me so far through my process in through life. In high school (Lawton High School in Lawton, Oklahoma) I was an all around athlete, but basketball was my first love. As a freshman in college I played college football at the University of South Dakota as a defensive back. I played as a true freshman, but after the semester I transferred to Junior College to play basketball at Labette Community College (in Parsons, Kansas). I went on to receive a D2 scholarship to Drury University, where I played basketball for two years. After my junior season of basketball I had a chance to go back D1, if I was able to graduate and get my degree. I received my Bachelors degree and spent my last year of basketball back at the D1 level, which was Abilene Christian University.
I was in graduate year, so I went on to earn my Masters degree while actually playing my rookie year in the top league of Croatia. I had a successful season leading the league in scoring, and was able to get another two-year contract to play in Serbia for my second season and possibly a third season in Europe if Covid-19 hadn’t ruined things. I say all that to say ,that the process has been crazy.
The most important thing about it is that I’ve learned and grown so much in the game of basketball and life, through it all. I’ve learned to adapt to playing with so many different players whether it was being the main guy or whether it was playing a significant role on a team. I believe that my game is built to adapt in any system. My ability to shooting the ball, and score at all three levels effectively and efficiently is important at this level. I’ve believe that I have proven I can do that. My ability to play make for other teammates is also important part of my game. Most importantly, I take pride in guarding the basketball and bringing great energy for the team night in and night out.
I’m all about winning. I believe that when we win as a unite, everyone will receive positive things from it.
I’m a native from Lawton, Oklahoma and come from a mixed background, African American and Comanche Native American. With that being said, I’m blessed to be able to play pro ball with the Potawatomi Fire here in Shawnee. Potawatomi Fire is the first Native American pro team ever and I’m beyond grateful to be in my second season with this team. Winning a championship here would mean so much to this community in Shawnee, to myself representing the native culture, & to my teammates. I believe this year we have a championship team, but we just have to continue to get better each and everyday. We are currently the only remaining undefeated team but that means nothing to us. We have to focus us, and the main goal which is The Lillie.
During my first year with the Fire I was not called to come play by any means. I found out the team was coming to Shawnee and I called the Firelake Arena to see if I could get a workout and then Coach Derrick Rowland called me back and told me to come to workout. I went to workout & though it was solid enough to get invited to training camp. After workout coach said he would give me a call. He did and told me respected my game and that he had his guards. I reached out to Coach Rowland again and said, ‘I feel like I had a solid enough workout to make it to training camp to compete against your guards, if I’m not good enough than by all means cut me. He responded: ‘See you at training camp next week.’
I came to training to came and didn’t look back.
With changes being made to our roster throughout whole first season, I was blessed to be able to take care of business like I know I could. Despite all of those roster changes we still had a winning season for year one in the league. I am excited to see what our new team and Coach Mark Dannhoff brings. I have nothing but confidence we can win in it all. Playing the right way is important to me and winning. I’ve been part of a lot winning teams, and it’s a lot easier when guys play basketball the right way and unselfish. Being on a team with a loaded roster it’s helping me grow as a player and learning my spots where I can be efficient for this team.
That’s my lady, Lauren Henry, right there. She supports me through it all. I’m a family man first. I have no kids but I’m all for my family. Growing up I was always a “mommas boy”. She raised three boys with me being the middle child. My mom is married to my step dad, Darone Dawsey, who I call my father because he did what he was suppose to. I forever appreciate him. My older brother played college ball, was a D2 All American, and played bro ball in the NBL. My youngest brother currently plays at one of the top D2 in the nation — University of Central Oklahoma —Danquez Dawsey. We grew up in the grind and know how the process goes. I just want to keep making them proud, and keep knocking down doors that we work for. I want to get as much as I can out of this game for myself and them because the basketball doesn’t keep bouncing forever.
I feel confident I have a long successful career ahead of me in the game of basketball.
*photos credited to tevin foster, potawatomi fire, and landon kidney
Wendell Maxey is the author of Around The Basketball League and has written about professional basketball and sports for 19 years. He’s been featured on NBA.com, ESPN.com, USA Today, FOX Sports, and SLAM Magazine among other publications and media outlets. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or read through his archive on Linktree.