Willoughby Will Return To Ames
Courtesy: Iowa State University Athletics
AMES, Iowa - Dedric Willoughby is coming home. Willoughby, who was a two-time first-team all-league choice and chosen to the 15-member Iowa State All-Century basketball team in 2008, is moving his family to Ames. He spent the last several years as a manager of a restaurant in Georgia.
A native of New Orleans, La., Willoughby listed three main reasons for his decision to return to the town that adored him so much when he graced the Hilton Coliseum court from 1995-97.
He talked with cyclones.com about his return.
cyclones.com: Why did you decide to come back to Ames?
DW: There are three reasons. The first part is I want to finish up my degree work. I am about 18 hours short and I want to finish and graduate from Iowa State. Second is that I love Ames, Iowa. I came back three years ago, and it did something to me and it did something to my family as well. I didn't think they would want to move. That brings up the third reason. My daughter became interested in basketball. She asked me, 'daddy can we do something, can we do this and can you do this?' I was working a lot of hours as the general manager of a restaurant and I wanted to have some time to get away and help her. I think Iowa will be a great place to raise my family and give her the kind of attention she needs, and possibly be the next person in the family to go to Iowa State.
cyclones.com: Do you see yourself being in Ames for awhile?
DW: Yes, I do. I have accepted a job with the All-Iowa Attack program in Ames. My degree will be done hopefully by the fall of next year and my plan is to be in Iowa for the next 10-15 years. I tried to get my life started with the basketball after college and that did not work out. I wanted to stay in the South with my mom in Atlanta. As far as me being comfortable at a place which felt like home, those two years in Ames were great. I was able to change my life and concentrate on things that I didn't before. Everything worked and I want to see if that will work for my family as well.
cyclones.com: Are you planning on attending Iowa State basketball games?
DW: I will be there. I will be a proud season ticket holder.
cyclones.com: Are you excited to get back helping out in basketball?
DW: We finalized things yesterday and I am excited to get up to Ames and work with the Attack program. I have been doing basketball free-lance work in Atlanta on my own and it can get kind of expensive traveling back and forth. I have been in touch with a lot of kids and seen basketball more and more after turning away for about eight years. I am around the atmosphere and I am getting antsy about it again. I think it is the best move for me.
cyclones.com: Your coach at Iowa State, Tim Floyd, is among the 2011 Iowa State Hall of Fame inductees. How happy are you for him?
DW: It is a great achievement. In four years at Iowa State he was able to do a great amount of work with some of the guys he was able to recruit. Coach Floyd has always had a special place in my heart since I was 16. The biggest thing I remember was him coming to me and telling me that he would not promise me anything. He was going to give me an opportunity but what I did with that opportunity would be solely on me. He kept everything that he said. When I was coming to Iowa State, he was telling me that I had to work hard in order to get to the next level. He was like a father to me and I wouldn't have wanted to play for anyone else.