doesn't so much move about the basketball court as he does glides across it.
Dunn, a 6-foot-3 senior guard at Connecticut's New London High,
is ubiquitous during games. One moment, he's spotting up for a jumper. The next moment, he's slithering near the rim in case he missed the shot.
St. Raphael Academy game up in Rhode Island (on Jan. 7),"
Ledyard head coach Dave Cornish said, "(Dunn) made a pass from half court to Khaleed (Fields)
at the elbow. Khaleed shoots the ball, and Kris is down there getting ready to tip the ball in. I'm like, ‘How did he get down there so fast?'
"Kris, he just goes-and-goes."
Dunn, who has signed a National Letter of Intent with Providence
, is trying to lead New London to its second-straight state championship. The four-time all-state selection had scored a school-record 2,106 career points prior to the start of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL tournament
this week. MaxPreps ranks Dunn 24th
among the nation's high school seniors. He's also rated highly as a point guard. He's not a traditional point guard, either — he had 37 points, 18 rebounds, 10 steals and seven assists to lead New London to a 93-64 win over Ledyard in the Eastern Connecticut Conference final on March 2.
Part of Dunn's work ethic and energy comes from both his love of the game and his active nature. John Seldon, Dunn's father, has played a large role, too.
"I appreciate everything he's done for me," Dunn said about his father. "You know that saying, ‘Blue collar workers'? That's how he works. That's how he is. Since he was little, he always had to work for everything he's had. Basically, he's just shown me how I have to work for everything.
"When I was 11, 12, 13 and 14 years old, we used to wake up at 6 o'clock in the morning before school just to get a couple of shots up. Or, in the parking lot, him and me would touch every line. Right there just shows me that hard work does pay off."
New London has a proud basketball tradition. It's won nine CIAC state championships, the fifth-most in state history. The school has only state championship banners hanging in Conway Gymnasium — there's no conference or divisional titles hanging there.
The city has seen its share of basketball stars. In 1951, Art Quimby led Bulkeley High School (which later merged with Chapman Tech to become New London High) to the New England championship. Quimby is the University of Connecticut's all-time leading rebounder.
Tyson Wheeler paced the Whalers to the 1994 CIAC Class M state championship. Wheeler went on to lead Rhode Island to an improbable run to the Elite Eight at the 1998 NCAA Tournament, and played for both the Denver Nuggets and in Europe.
Dunn has eclipsed the accomplishments of his predecessors. He's the program's first 2,000-point scorer and the 17th player to reach that mark in state boys basketball history. He's also New London's first McDonald's All-American, making him just the fourth Connecticut player to receive that honor.
"I've seen players going back from the mid-60suntil now," said Craig Parker, a New London lifer who's been the Whalers head coach the last 17 years. "Kris is, I think, the best player we've had here.
"The one thing I've never had to worry about with Kris is that he played hard. Kris plays hard, I can literally say, on every possession on the basketball court. Sometimes you have high school players, great high school players like Kris, and they don't play hard all the time. Kris plays hard all the time."
Dunn almost didn't return to New London for his senior year. He decided last July to attend Massachusetts' Wilbraham & Monson Academy,
and was going to play with close friend Andre Drummond
, who had transferred from St. Thomas More.
A month later, Dunn decided to stay with New London. Drummond wound up bypassing his final prep season and headed for his freshman year at UConn.
"I've been playing at New London since my freshman year," Dunn said, "This is where everything started. I just wanted to finish up my senior year with my friends and family.
"This community has always shown me love, so I had to show the love back."
New London would love it if Dunn gave it another state championship banner, too.
"Once the season is over this year, he'll have no regrets about not playing hard," Cornish said. "Never."
Griffen has covered high school, college and professional sports in the
Northeast since 1992. A 2003 New England Associated
Press News Executives award winner, he may be reached at email@example.com.