Last Monday night, many friends, family members, coaches and teammates showed up at the Griffin gym to celebrate a special evening for senior forward Nic Caldwell. Caldwell officially signed his letters of intent to play at Southeastern.

First, Dutchtown girl's basketball star Chelsea Cain signed with Nicholls. A week later, it was time for a Dutchtown boy's basketball standout to have his special day.

Last Monday night, many friends, family members, coaches and teammates showed up at the Griffin gym to celebrate a special evening for senior forward Nic Caldwell. Caldwell officially signed his letters of intent to play at Southeastern.

The 6-foot-7 wing/forward has emerged as one of the top basketball players in the area over the past two years.

He became a starter during his sophomore season, as he played alongside his older brother Neil, who was a starting guard.

Nic wasted no time making an impression with his terrific outside shooting and scintillating rim-rattling dunks.

Caldwell ended up making both all-district and All-Parish that season as Dutchtown improved from 9-21 to 17-13 and reached the playoffs for the first time in three years.

Last season, Caldwell was even better as a junior. At the end of the year, he was named both first-team All-District 5-5A and first-team All-Parish.

He helped his team go 16-9 during the regular season. They reached the playoffs for a second straight season.

Once in the postseason, the 19th-seeded Griffins went on the road and made it look easy against No. 14 Lafayette. They rolled to a 55-37 victory, which was their first playoff win since 2014.

They hosted a second-round game against third-seeded and reigning state champion Landry-Walker. The Griffins fought hard but eventually fell by a final score of 63-51.

Landry-Walker went on to finish as state runners-up, losing an overtime classic to Walker in the Class 5A championship game.

Caldwell began to get recruited heavily by Southeastern last year, and he officially committed to the school during his junior season.

Southeastern head basketball coach Jay Ladner had many great things to say about Caldwell after the early signing period became official.

"I think Nic is a sleeper recruit," Ladner said. "He is an athletic kid that has had a lot of success at the high school level. He can play inside and out. We've really liked him since the first time we saw him and have been recruiting him hard over the last couple of years.

"He's another local kid that fits into our scheme of recruiting locally. Nic is a high-flying kid who we think has an incredible ceiling, so we're excited to have him on board."

Now with his letters of intent signed, Caldwell can focus on his senior season with the Griffins.

Dutchtown is looking for even more success this year after breaking through in 2017-18.

Along with Caldwell, the Griffins return a fellow first-team all-district player in Gary Smith.

The two will tip things off for Dutchtown on Nov. 27, when they begin the season on the road against Belaire.

The Griffins will then take part in the John "Hot Rod" Williams Gold Dome Classic tournament at St. Amant on Thursday.

They will finish the opening week with a home game against Northshore on Friday night.