Desert Dog Basket Ball Team: Tyron Criswell, Spencer Mathis, Brandon Mitchell, Dushone Brown, Darius Stewart, Daulton Halfacre, Don Muepo, Jonathon Loyd and Stephen McCall. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

The Mesquite Desert Dogs are on fire both on and off the courts and the community has good reason to show pride for their basketball team.  The Dogs are stepping out into the neighborhood hosting BBQ’s, talking the talk, walking the walk and thoroughly enjoying meeting the fans.

In Aug. 2018 a meeting was held by The Basketball League’s President Dave Magley who announced the new Mesquite Desert Dogs and head coach Carlnel Wiley. Wiley was assistant coach to Mokeski last season when the team was the Nevada Desert Dogs. This season coach Wiley and Dogs co-owner Kelly Doyle want to put into action the words coach Wiley spoke that day. “I need to do my job. I need to help the kids become the best (players) they can be. I own my own court which we will be playing on next year at whatever venue we choose. I need your (Community) support to succeed.”

After completing the Heart Walk Desert Dogs players stuck around to show the crowd of fifth grade students some fancy jump shots or something like them. Desert Dog Player #10 Dushone Brown seems to defy gravity as he touches the top of the Mesa View Hospital Arch while the crowd cheers him on. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Magley ended the meeting with the following comments. “The coaches and players will be living near and playing in  Mesquite during the season. They will be visible throughout the community and we will be at the schools with the players helping in any way to help the youth of Mesquite.”

It took a bit of time to organize, find the right people in town and make that happen but it has. The Dogs have just begun to step out into the Mesquite community and over this past weekend they’ve held public practice sessions at the Mesquite Recreation Center, hosted an afterparty meet and greet Saturday night after the game, participating in the Fifteenth Annual Heart Walk and inviting community members to take part in the half time show and have made VJ’s BBQ their aftergame go-to place to eat.

During the Heart Walk, all nine Desert Dogs joined in on pre-walk warm up exercises with the other walkers, walked the 3.2 miles with their fans and were at Mesa View to high five the students from all three Virgin Valley fifth grade classes as they made it to the end of their walk.

After all the classes had crossed the finish the Dogs took some time to show them some high jumps. Fans, both child and adult cheered on Desert Dog #10, Dashone Brown as he leaped into the air and touched the arch at Mesa View Hospital. The crowd was completely impressed with the entire team; it was hard to tell who was more impressed or having more fun, the crowd, the kids or the team members.

Spencer Mathis is officially the community outreach person on the team, but the entire team is excited about getting out and meeting people in their hometown.  When Mathis asked, the whole team responded for everything. The guys all said or at least agreed, “We’re a team, a family; if one of us is going to do something with the community, all of us are going to join him. They’re loving living and playing locally but most of all they’re enjoying the people they’re meeting, and the fan support they’re receiving but they hope to gain more so they can stick around Mesquite.

The halftime show at Sunday’s game included a demonstration by the Mesquite Recreations Center’s Tae Kwon Do class led by Master “O. Class members showed off moves and broke some boards some even broke two at a time. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Rich Green has taken over the position of community liaison and he plans on introducing the Dogs to the whole town through the remainder of the season which ends in April. Green stated, “The Mesquite Desert Dogs are continuing to seek ways to become even more involved in our community over the remainder of their season. Co-Owners Coach Carlnel Wiley and Kelly Doyle, along with all the Desert Dog players, look forward to these opportunities.’

If you missed the games this weekend, you missed some great ball playing and a half time show featuring a demonstration by the Mesquite Recreations Center’s Tae Kwon Do class led by Master “O. Class members showed off moves and broke some boards some even broke two at a time.

Your Dogs seemed to get a lot of airspace between themselves and the floor; almost as if they could defy gravity. On Sunday they beat a team who, until Saturday, was undefeated and took a firm hold on third place in the league and it’s only the half way point in the season. The Dogs next home game is scheduled for Feb. 28 against San Diego at the Virgin Valley High School.  Tickets are only $10 for seniors/veterans, $15 for adults and $5 for youths. Come on out and support the Mesquite Desert Dogs; after all this is your team.