July 4, 2011

Artis turning Silver State golden

Kevin McCarthy

There’s a new DA in Vegas and he’s a timely and efficient prosecutor, wrapping up his court cases in no more than 32 minutes with barely a blemish in his conviction rate. Yes, it’s true, Salesian High’s Dominic Artis has decided to spend his senior year at Findlay Prep (FP) in Las Vegas, playing for Coach Mike Peck. The 2012 point’s reasoning is straightforward and succinct: "I felt it would best prepare me for the next level."

photo of Dominic Artis

This was no fly-by-night decision, instead a decidedly well-discussed and thought-out family process. As Greg Davis, Artis’ father explained, "He wanted to make this decision a week ago and we told him to sleep on it. We explained there would be no prom, no graduating with his class [at Salesian High]. We said ‘at the end of the week, if he felt strongly, then decide’."

Following that advice, Artis paused as suggested and then made the choice to take on a new challenge.

Davis added, "Dom wanted to take advantage of an opportunity where it is challenging everyday. My thinking with the colleges he is looking at is that it will help to be in an environment that is college-like."

Both father and son stressed that the decision wasn’t spurred by any local dissatisfaction. Davis said, "It wasn’t a matter of Salesian doing anything wrong. in fact, Salesian has been great. We give Coach [Bill] Mellis a lot of the credit for Dom developing."

Now a national recruit and the top-ranked point on the West Coast, Artis concurred, "I have nothing but respect for Salesian and Coach Mellis. He taught me a lot on running offenses and I’m very grateful to him for that."

As for academics, the record is clear. Davis said, "all of Coach Peck’s players qualify, there are private instructors, 4-6 students per classroom so there’s no hiding. Jabari Brown (who attended FP during the 2009-10 season) described it as harder than regular school." Brown also told the family that being at FP "got me a lot better."

Artis also performs as well in the classroom as on the court, possessing a 3.3 grade point average.

Now he has a new set of goals: "I want to help win a national championship at Findlay Prep and become a McDonald’s All-American. On the floor, my plan is to be more vocal and take command, be the floor general."

Off last year’s FP squad, backcourters Nick Johnson moved on to Arizona and Myck Kabongo to Texas respectively so opportunity is present.

Also, for those coaching staffs who discounted Artis due to his then diminutive height, he currently tops the tape at 6-foot-1.