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December 19, 2023

AHS Alumni, Doug McDermott

Doug McDermott, Ames High class of 2010, will see his No. 3 be officially retired by his collegiate alma mater, Creighton, before tipoff on Dec. 20 against Villanova. McDermott finished his Ames High career as the most accurate shooter in Ames High history, shooting 71.5% overall and 51.5% from 3-point land.

“We are thrilled to be able to retire Doug’s jersey,” Greg McDermott said in a press release. “His impact on our basketball program was immense. He and his teammates helped usher in a new era of Creighton Basketball as we entered the BIG EAST. As his Father and Coach, I look forward to celebrating him with 18,000 Bluejay faithful.”

McDermott was called up to varsity in his junior year, but playing for sophomore coach Rob Kain and Vance Downs as an upperclassman helped mold the clay that is Doug, the basketball player.

“I probably had a better career in college, but those guys (Kain and Downs) groomed me into who I am today,” McDermott shares. “I learned so many life lessons from coach Downs. Not being on varsity until my junior year, I feel like it put fuel to the fire in my head to continue to work and continue to become great. Coach Kain my sophomore year is when I really started to develop. I kind of grew into my body a little bit, was more of a guard and transitioned into a big guy when I was 6-6. So many good memories from Ames, you know, just winning two state titles with HB (Harrison Barnes). So grateful for the time in Ames.”

Kain, who also won a basketball state title with Ames High in 1991, was thrilled to coach the future three-time All-American (2012, 2013, 2014) and consensus National Player of the Year (2014) at Creighton.

Sophomore basketball team photo from when Doug McDermott played

“Dougie Fresh was easily one of the best players I have ever had the privilege of coaching, and not just from a talent standpoint,” Kain said. “He was humble, worked hard, and was a great teammate. He was everything you could ask for in a student-athlete. It is just amazing to me that I get to say that I was his coach at one point!”

Doug averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game during his junior year. During a recent media availability, he reminisced about this time at Ames High. 

“Mrs. Seibert, she just had a very great way of connecting with the students. There’s so many great people there at Ames High,” he shared. “I know it’s a brand new high school now. Coach Downs, he had his own office upstairs and it always felt like we were going to the principal’s office and not our coach’s office. So many good memories of our team being crowded in that room watching Des Moines Hoover clips or just where we were wrong on defense.”

Seibert is an English teacher at Ames High and has been with the Ames CSD since 2007. She reflects on McDermott, who is in his 10th season in the NBA, as a student.

“It means everything that he still remembers those times because I still remember those times, and those classes were so fun. We learned stuff, but, connecting as a community and growing as people,” said Seibert. “Doug is wildly impressive. Obviously, he’s bonkers impressive at basketball. We saw it blossom in high school and we got to see him grow into a beast of a talent that surpassed what people could have imagined. He’s so capable and talented. He’s such a good human, and he was a great student, everything about him exudes excellence in who he is as a stand-up guy. The excellence in which he approaches each day‚Ķ I think you’d feel lucky to know someone like that.”

Doug’s best moments in the orange and black came during his senior year. He was named Old Spice Player of the Game after tallying 25 points and 12 rebounds in an 87-59 win over Waukegan (Ill.) in a game televised by ESPN, located at Hilton Coliseum, led the Little Cyclones with 21 points in the 2010 state title game, a 47-37 win over Southeast Polk, and was First Team All-State by the Iowa Newspaper Association and Des Moines Register after averaging 20.1 points and 7.8 rebounds as a senior.

“Doug is certainly one of the best players ever to walk the halls of Ames High School,” head coach Vance Downs said. “Doug is a terrific young man who is constantly giving back to others. I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to coach him at Ames.”