A supportive person who has never asked for anything in return. This is how Korin Mereste describes Dave Whiteside, whom she considered to be a friend, trainer and father figure.
Makayla Hutchinson says he was a great person and someone she admired.
The relationship between 2021 Nauset Regional High School graduates and the Basketball Hall of Fame took on another chapter on May 14 when Mereste and Hutchinson became the first recipients of the Dave Whiteside Scholarship.
âIt really feels good to be the first recipient of this scholarship because it has a different meaning given that I have known Dave and played with (his daughter) Carly for so long,â Hutchinson said. “He was always giving advice and trying to help people improve their game.”
Hutchinson and Mereste have played AAU basketball for the Cape Cod Bulls from a young age. It was there that they met Whiteside. Mereste says it’s good to be the first recipient, but it has a deeper meaning for her as she was one of the last people Dave coached and they had a great relationship on and off the pitch. .
Whiteside grew up playing basketball and loved the game. During his career at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he averaged 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, shot 64 percent from the field and 86.2% from the free throw line. In his junior year, Whiteside led the NCAA Division III in free throw percentage (90.9) and led his team to the NCAA Division III tournament. In 2012, he was inducted into the UNC Greensboro Athletic Hall of Fame.
He died in December 2019 from pneumonia. A year after his death, his friends got together and formed a purse around the characteristics he valued.
They set up a Facebook page, started fundraising, and the Dave Whiteside Scholarship was established.
âHe’s a great role model and taught me the work ethic and the characteristics I would need to be successful,â Carly said. âHe helped me develop my skills and we would watch basketball all night, wake up in the morning and go out into the aisle to practice what we were watching. He was definitely my best friend.
The award is presented to athletes who demonstrate consistent characteristics embodied and cherished by Whiteside. These characteristics include hard work, dedication, commitment, teamwork, leadership, citizenship, and fun.
Each player received a check for $ 1,250.
Carly scored 1,000 points in Barnstable High School and just completed her sophomore year at the University of Vermont. Carly says Hutchinson and Mereste both embodied her father’s characteristics and it’s special because they were her teammates with the Cape Cod Bulls.
âMy dad loved to coach them and every time their names were mentioned he had nothing but good things to say about them,â Carly said. “He told me he loved their game so much and that they were just great people to talk to and be around.”
Hutchinson will attend Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, majoring in Criminology. Mereste will go to Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut, to study mechanical engineering. Both will play basketball for their respective schools.
Both played varsity basketball for four years for Nauset Regional High School. Nauset head coach John Piemontese coached both players during their junior and senior seasons. Hutchinson and Mereste were selected as Cape & Islands High School Stars in their senior season under Piemontese. They led their team to a 12-2 record, which included a loss in the Cape Town and Islands League final.
âThey both deserve this scholarship and I am really happy for them because they are two wonderful children,â said Piemontese. “It’s great that the scholarship goes to two women who are still linked to where they started their basketball careers with the Cape Cod Bulls.”
Contact Courtney Jacobs at [email protected]