Standing at a full 5 feet 9 inches, I have always considered myself tall. While I have certainly met plenty of women taller, I was nip and tuck with the tallest on my basketball team in high school, and I have often lamented with fellow tall friends the woes of towering above the crowd if we wear heels higher than 2 inches.
That is to say, I considered myself tall until I met the Dozier brothers, appropriately dubbed “the twin towers.” These USC legends left a lasting imprint on Carolina basketball and have made their mark on the Midlands community as well, staying to build their lives here and coach the emerging talent on Columbia’s courts. Towering at 6’11 and 6’9 respectively, Perry and Terry are hard to miss. Apparently, the average doorjamb sits at about 6’8, meaning that every time they enter or exit a room, they must duck. “I hit my head about three times a year,” Perry says with a chuckle. “It’s not so much remembering to duck, it’s when you think you’re clear and come back up under it that can be trouble.”
Perry shares that his girlfriend in college drove a Honda Civic, and in order for him to drive it, he had to recline the seat all the way flat and then sit on the headrest, which was lying on the back seat. “So pretty much, I was sitting in the back row of the car,” he says with a laugh, “and I would look out of the backseat windows. I used to drive a Porsche, and when people would come up to it all impressed and amazed, at first I thought it was because they liked the car. That was not it at all — they wanted to see how I fit into it!”
Growing up, their mother, Paula Dozier, who already had to buy clothes in pairs for her twins, would instead buy pants in sets of four. “She would cut one pair at the knee and then sew most of the legs from the second pair to it,” remembers Terry. This led her to learn to sew so she could then make their own extra-long, custom pants without horizontal seems. “We didn’t have a lot, but we were always proud of what she gave us. She would embroider our names on our clothes so people knew who was who … and so we knew whose was whose!”
Apparently, clothes sharing was not as common between their closets as one would think. Perry was meticulous with his clothes but says that Terry would come home from school and then go out to play football with friends without changing. “And then he would come in and sleep in those same clothes!” he says, shaking his head. It thus comes as no surprise that Perry later moved into the clothing realm professionally and has owned three stores, one of which he still operates, offering custom suits for tall men.
Despite their surface similarities of height and preeminence on the basketball court, Terry shares that they are actually opposites in most ways. Terry has always been more laid back and casual. Perry says that while he considers arriving on time already late, he always had to wake Terry up for school because he was continually running behind.
One way, however, that they are both incredibly similar is their easy laugh and sincere smile. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more about two of Columbia’s all-star athletes and leaders through Julie Turner’s article on page 62. I hope you enjoy learning about these two amazing men as well as the other inspiring individuals in this issue.