As the founder and owner of Daze Entertainment Basketball, a team of streetball players based out of Madison, Troy Dean has been sharing his team’s basketball talents at assembly, charity, and fundraiser games and amazing students at a host of Dane County schools for almost two decades.
A chance encounter at one of those basketball games with a Marshall firefighter four years ago, who would tragically pass away a little over a year ago, led Dean to initiate an event in his name — the annual Marcos Dominguez Scholarship Game. The event, now in its second year, will take place Friday, March 24, 6 p.m. at Marshall High School in Marshall, Wis., just east of Madison.
“Marcos played in one of my basketball games about four years ago and he was a local firefighter in Marshall … just really a likable guy,” Dean tells Madison365. “He was the first person to be like, “Hey if you ever need more players, let me know, and I’ll do these games with you guys.’ We had such a great time with him.”
A little over a year ago, Dominguez, who had been with the department for about 13 years. had been driving westbound on Sanderson Road in the town of Hampden and his car went into a ditch, rolled over and struck a power pole. Captain Marcos Dominguez died at the scene. He was just 34 years old. He left behind his wife and four children.
“I was sitting at home when [the news] came through on my Facebook page. I was like, ‘This can’t be happening. He’s such a good dude,'” Dean remembers. “Just a very nice, very humble guy. I gave it some time before I reached out to his wife, because I was already planning on doing a game in March anyways. I asked if I could do a benefit in honor of Marcos … with her blessing. She said yes.
“So then the gears got to spinning and I was like, ‘Well, let’s make a scholarship in his honor.’ So I talked to some people at [Marshall] high school who are involved in scholarships and they’re like, ‘Well, is this gonna be a one-time scholarship?’ I didn’t really know. I’ve raised money for scholarships before but I never started one from the ground up. They said, ‘Let’s just see how much money is made [at the first event] and we’ll go from there.’”
Dean got the wheels in motion and on Friday, March 25, 2022, at Marshall High School, he hosted the first annual Marcos Dominguez Scholarship Game. His Daze Team would take on the Marshall All-Stars – a team of Marshall teachers, former Marshall alumni and the family of Marcos Dominguez.
“His family came out here. His wife was at the game and one of his daughters ended up playing in the game with us. It was pretty emotional. It was amazing just how everyone came together for the game,” Dean remembers of that first annual event. “We had some pretty cool raffles. We had some bikes. We did t-shirt sales where all the proceeds from the shirts were sold. Every bit of money, from the raffle, T-shirts, and this thing we do called the “Miracle Minute” where we pass around a bucket in the crowd and people contribute their loose change, went towards the scholarship.”
In all, they raised close to $4,000. All of the money went towards a scholarship in Marcos Dominguez’s name for a student entering the trades field.
It was such an amazing and uplifting experience that Dean decided to do it again this year.
“It’s an incredible family-fun atmosphere. And his family has been so supportive,” Dean says. “I just felt this was the right thing for the community to honor this man after his tragic passing. As a firefighter, you put your life on the line. I just wanted to do something to honor this man and that’s how the Marcos Dominguez Scholarship Game started.”
Dean, who is also a special education paraprofessional in the Marshall School District, adds that Marshall is a pretty tight-knit community … “especially when it comes to supporting each other and things like that.”
The halftime show for the Marcos Dominguez Scholarship Game will feature a performance by The Sweatshop Movement, a hip-hop dance crew that his son, T.J. a student at Marshall High School, is part of.
“Last year in July, they won a national hip-hop dance competition. They’ve competed in the World of Dance,” Dean says. “They’re one of the best hip-hop dance crews around. They’re the only team that’s invited to come back to perform for the Milwaukee Bucks four years straight.”
The raffle will also be an important part of the fundraiser. Numerous bikes have been donated by private donors. There are some custom cornhole boards that people can bid on along with some retail items.
“Through another private donor, we have two [Milwaukee Bucks star] Giannis [Antetokounmpo]-signed 8×10 pictures,” Dean says. “We have a Green Bay Packers 8×10 that was signed by Coach [Matt] LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Jaire Alexander. We have a lot of cool raffle items.”
A DJ will be performing at the event. Dean says there will be plenty of Daze Entertainment Basketball players there.
“Kid Dynomite is going to be coming from Columbus, Ohio, as well as Jason Schuette (aka Kicks) from Fond du Lac. We’ll have Ceraya Morel (two-time girls state champion for Marshall High School), Jerome Haywood from Madison, Kardelle Phillips from Oregon, and Roy Boone and Chris Costello from the Madison Mavericks semi-pro basketball team.”
Dean has officially retired as a player in the Daze Entertainment Basketball games. He will be the emcee.
“This is the first Daze game that’s ever gone on without me actually playing in it. I’m still facilitating it and I’m still putting the game on. I’m emceeing the game. I’m just actively done playing,” he says. “We hope to see a lot of people out for this event. Like I said, it’s for such a good cause and such a great guy.”