When Andre Dasher was a standout player at Ferris High School in the late 1990s, no one would have ever dreamed he not only would become a 1,000-point scorer in high school, but would eventually gain a scholarship to an NCAA Division I school.
But that’s what Dasher achieved, scoring more than 1,300 points during his career with the Bulldogs and moving on to Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he helped the Knights reach the NCAA Tournament in 1998. That year, Dasher and FDU put a major scare into UConn in the first round of the tourney.
Dasher, now a social worker dealing with corrections in Newark, helping ex-convicts get back into society by getting good jobs, wanted to make sure that his son, Isiah, had the same chances that he had growing up.
When Isiah Dasher decided to select a high school, he chose to go down the same path as his father.
“He made me really proud when he chose to go to Ferris,” Andre Dasher said. “He knew that his mother and father both went to Ferris and he wanted to go there as well. That meant the world to me.”
Isiah Dasher went on to become a basketball star like his father.
“It was a great experience to see my son blossom,” Andre Dasher said. “He worked so hard to become a good basketball player. Through the spring and into the summer, he was always working. He watched tape of other players in order to learn and get better.”
Isiah Dasher simply wanted to be like his father.
“So many people have told me how good of a player he was,” Isiah Dasher said. “I never let the dream I had go. I never let anything stop me. I worked day and night to become a better basketball player. I worked on my game so I could play at Ferris. I just had to stick to it. Once I made my mind up about going to Ferris and being like my father, there was no going back.”
Meaning that Dasher was going to graduate from Ferris like his parents. He was not about be swayed into transferring to another school simply for basketball purposes.
Isiah Dasher was asked if there was pressure being Andre Dasher’s son.
“No, actually, it’s been a blessing,” Isiah Dasher said. “My Dad was one of the ones who told me that I could achieve, that I could be whoever I wanted to be. I just wanted to be like him.”
In a recent game against Kearny, the younger Dasher did the unthinkable. He reached the impressive 1,000-point plateau just like his father.
The Dashers are clearly the first father-son combination to ever score 1,000 points in Ferris history. A stroll through the Hudson County archives shows that they could very well be the first father and son to ever score 1,000 points in Hudson County history.
Dwayne Lee, currently an assistant coach at FDU, was a standout player at St. Anthony like his late father Brian was at the now-defunct St. Mary’s. While the elder Lee did score 1,000, it’s unsure whether the son did at St. Anthony. More than likely, Dwayne Lee did not.
That’s the closest that anyone can remember.
If that’s the case, then the Dashers — father and son — form a very elite group. They are definitely two 1,000-point scorers from the same family.
“It’s a great honor to be in that club,” Isiah Dasher said. “It’s a great accomplishment. I never thought it could happen. I’m proud that we both can say we did it.”
Isiah Dasher was recently presented with the ball that he scored the 1,000th point with.
“It still hasn’t hit me that it’s happened,” Isiah Dasher said. “I honestly still can’t believe it.”
While the elder Dasher had a college scholarship because of basketball, the younger one is still striving for one. He’s had a few NCAA Division II schools contact him. The Division III schools, like New Jersey City University, would welcome him with open arms, but they don’t offer scholarships.
“I always feel like I’ve got something to prove,” Isiah Dasher said. “Everything I did last year [averaging 21 points per game, earning Hudson Reporter All-Area First Team honors] was last year. I need more than that. It’s never enough. I have to prove myself at the highest level.”
Ferris head coach John Bengen believes that his star player reaching the milestone is proof enough.
“It’s a tremendous honor for Isiah,” Bengen said. “He’s the first 1,000-point scorer I’ve coached. We couldn’t have scripted it any better. His father being here and then Isiah getting the points he needed. It’s an honor and a blessing to have been able to coach him. I was able to watch him mature and blossom.”
Dasher is averaging 23 points and seven rebounds per game for the Bulldogs, who unfortunately are struggling this season.
“He always told me that he could do this,” Bengen said. “Honestly, no one knows that. He told me that if he put his mind to it, he could get 1,000 points like his father.”
“For him to get 1,000 points and have a decent grade point average, then as a father, I couldn’t be prouder,” Andre Dasher said. “I’m very proud of him. We created a little bit of history.”