Knicks’ Damyean Dotson Brings ‘Whole Team’ to Holiday Sneaker Drive

NEW YORK CITY -- Damyean Dotson is finding his way with the New York Knicks. On the court, the 24-year-old Houston native has emerged as a spot starter at shooting guard for head coach David Fizdale. Off of it, he’s carved out time to mingle with fans and do good with his teammates in the Big Apple.

Damyean recently joined Lance Thomas to host a holiday sneaker drive at Sneakersnstuff in NYC's Meatpacking district. Fellow Knicks Noah Vonleh and training camp invite Jeff Coby came out to support the event, which benefited the New York City Department of Homeless Services. So, too, were sneaker connoisseurs Brendan Dunne and Matthew Welty, who co-host Sole Collector's "Full Size Run" with Trinidad James.

Fans in attendance (along with some of their dogs) got to meet Damyean and his teammates, take photos, snag autographs, and even spark conversation over wine and popcorn. Some fans opted to have their sneakers on foot signed by the Knicks players.

Amid the good cheer, CloseUp360 caught up with Damyean to discuss the event, the meaning behind “Whole Team” and his other personal passions.

(The interview has been edited for clarity and length.)

Damyean Dotson Lance Thomas Knicks

Lance Thomas and Damyean Dotson of the Knicks pose with a fan at Sneakersnstuff in New York City. (Stefan Klapko)

CloseUp360: How did you get involved with this event and what other organizations are you involved with?

Damyean Dotson: I'm happy to be here and help out Lance. Being a part of this is great, giving back during the holiday season, of course. I'm fortunate to give back and show my face, show anything is possible. As far as organizations and stuff like that, I actually have a Whole Team organization coming about. You can go on my Instagram or my Twitter (@wholeteamdot). Like eight of my best friends, we have an organization coming together. Just giving back, all coming together as one. Our motto is, like, “Anything you can do, you can do it together as a team." Be great together. Do more, say less. Stuff like that.

CU360: Is that going to be focused back home in Houston, here in New York or spread all over the place?

DD: Actually, the Whole Team thing is taking off because every time a picture gets posted on the Knicks page, people comment "Whole Team, Whole Team" or "Whole Team Dot." It's not even Damyean. We have some stuff coming—hoodies and stuff like that because it’s catchy. Anybody can be Whole Team. Anytime I walk in somewhere, LT [Lance Thomas] is, like, “Whole Team!” Everyone knows me as Whole Team.

CU360: So for now can we go on the ‘Gram. Is there a website up?

DD: @wholeteamfamily on Instagram. We don't have that many followers. When we get moving, we have a website coming soon on Squarespace. LT did his on Squarespace. I took that idea and, yeah, it was dope. I have an AAU team, too. We'll have our AAU team stuff on there, merchandise.

CU360: Is the AAU team based back home?

DD: My AAU team is in Houston, Team Dotson. It just started this year, in the summer. They're already having tryouts and stuff. That's back home. The Whole Team thing is anywhere.

CU360: What is it that you love? I saw you were a part of New York Fashion Week with Enes Kanter?

DD: We didn't walk. We were there though! It might be a thing, possibly in the future. I play a lot of 2K and a lot of Madden, Call of Duty a little bit. Hooping, of course—first love. Family time. Spending time with my dog. I got a Husky. He's one year, Siberian Husky. His name is Blue. Just hanging with him.

Other than that, it's busy right now. We have a game every other day. So when I do get a little free time, I'm probably at home eating, kicking back, just trying to chill and relax. Whole Team, we're going to get that off the ground.


Olivier Auguste is an NBA lifestyle writer based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.