Interview Dylon Cormier - English version

19 november 2014



Dylon Cormier spends a long time away from his family as he plays the game he loves her in Leiden. In America, their names are Cameron Lamont and Kara Marshall. Dylon misses them deeply, his new born son and his girlfriend.

Cameron was just shy of three weeks old, when Dylon took a plane to face his first great foreign adventure and play ball in Europe. Every parent knows how hard it is to say goodbye to their loved ones. In Dylon’s case it could have been worse, though. It looked like Kara would give birth while Dylon was away, but a Higher Power intervened: Cameron happened to be born earlier than expected and Dylon even had time to be present for a photo shoot. Followers of the new ZZ Leiden player have surely seen the photo of his baby on his shoulder. A striking picture, no doubt.

Dylon was raised by his mother and stepfather. It was a complicated family relationship, as many family relationships are nowadays. Chase is his full brother and Dylon feels warmth and responsibility towards his brother. Chase plays basketball at college level now.

Until the eighth grade at high school Dylon played football, but his heart was not in it.  He was a pretty good player but he could not fully love the game and give himself completely. Some words of a basketball coach changed his life- the coach told Dylon he would never play division one basketball. From that time on it was all basketball to prove his coach wrong.

He started his study at Loyola University and became more and more important to the basketball team of this Baltimore university. Despite having missed half of the last season he led the team and was its top scorer with  21,2 points. He could boast of several double-doubles as well. After he graduated in May 2014 with a bachelor of arts in communications with an major in advertising and public relations he knew he was ready for a new challenge: playing basketball abroad.

His agent suggested ZZ Leiden in Holland. His grandparents had once told him the Dutch wear wooden shoes, live in windmills and that there are tulips all over the place. ,,Oh man!” poor Dylon thought at first, ,,I’ll end up between aliens.” Googling brought some reality. The site however, could not prepare him for the first few weeks here. No wonder, he landed right into the 3rd of October festivities. ,,Walking in the parade was awesome. I was like a kid in a candy store. People waving, smiling and talking to me. They still do by the way. I had to get used to it, but I love it now. Americans are more for themselves and to themselves. When the Dutch smile or wave I still look over my shoulder to see for whom it is meant haha.”

Except for his basketball talents, Dylon is popular for his unlimited enthusiasm. Jumping, shouting and waving with a towel: he doesn’t hide his feelings. Energetic and a 100% devotion, two key words for Cormier. ,,Even when you’re on the bench you have to show you’re there for the team. I can’t just sit and watch.”

,,A good guy on the number 2 position, a fine shooter, strong defender despite his length, a hard worker and basket targeted.” an expert describes him. Dylon mostly agrees: ,,Shooting has to improve though. I train hard to become better. I’m still young and I am learning a lot here. The way they play ball here is more disciplined. Oh, one more thing,” he adds with a smile, ,,Improving my freethrows certainly is one of my main goals.”

As usual some simple and hard facts in the interview:

Best film: Coach Carter – on facts based story of a basketball coach. Samuel L. Jackson plays a brilliant role)

Favourite music: R&B of the seventies.

Favourite book: more a genre; books about philosophy. Strange as it may sound, but Dylon likes to read e.g. Plato.

Favourite food: shrimps, shellfish and seafood in general. (Baltimore is one of America’s most important harbours, so no coincidence here. And no; he hasn’t tasted ,,nieuwe haring (raw, fresh herring) yet. According to his facial expression the idea of eating raw fish doesn’t attract the player.)

Hobbies: ,,I like to write things I think about, the meaning and essence of life, that kind of stuff; that inspires me.”

Dreaming about my future I see: ,,My family plays a central role in my life. They are my life. I have a new boss now, yeah, he’s only a few months old but his wish is my command. I want to remain happy with my family.”

Dylon is a socially engaged person. He saw people around him go under blaming everyone but themselves. ,,Wrong. Look at yourself first. You are responsible for your own life. You can change your life, others can’t. I’d love to work with underprivileged kids in the future and I want to teach them that. I consider that a challenge.”

Great guy, this Dylon Cormier, friendly, socially aware, young father, but how does he feel about us, the fans watching the games?

,,The fans? Man, I just love them! Each time I enter the canteen I am stunned and overwhelmed by the reactions of the fans. In the States people applaud politely at the end of the game and they’re gone by the time I have showered. This here is all new to me. The chants, the yells, fans singing that everybody has to stand up and so on; shivers down my spine I tell you. And when I enter the bar: high fives, pats on the back and people talking to me, even when we’ve  lost. Sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed to be honest. All this for me and my teammates?!? I appreciate it immensely.”

Time to say goodbye. By the time you’ll read this, Dylon will have spent the most wonderful days with his son Cameron and girlfriend Kara, they have come to visit for a couple weeks. Do I need to say more?