Kris Dunn Q+A
SLAM caught up with New London High’s star guard.
By Norman Waterman
New London High dominated Hartford Public last week (Jan. 24) 85-59 in a match-up between two of Connecticut’s Top 10 teams. New London was lead by its do-everything guard, junior Kris Dunn, who dominated at both ends of the floor. The 6-3 Dunn finished the game with 33 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals unofficially, while sitting out most of the fourth quarter due to foul trouble.
He plays with a silky smooth flow that belies his age. At the recent HoopHall Classic in Springfield, MA scouts were talking about him playing himself into a High-Major player if he keeps up his current performance. The game verses Hartford Public was simply a continuation of his maturing game and blossoming skill set.
After his big game, SLAM sat down to talk to the lanky guard about his season so far and what’s next for him.
SLAM: So were you hyped when you found out SLAM wanted to talk to you for the web site?
Kris Dunn: Most definitely, I’ve realty worked hard and to get recognition from the media like SLAM is rewarding. Shows me hard work pays off.
SLAM: Do you read SLAM or SLAMonline?
KD: Yeah, our school gets a copy and my friends and I check it out when it comes.
SLAM: You going to check it out more now?
KD: Most definitely. (Chuckling)
SLAM: So you guys really crushed Hartford Public, huh?
KD: Yeah, we wanted to show everyone that we are serious. A lot of the teams up by Hartford and the other bigger cities think we can’t play down here, so we wanted to show them what was up.
SLAM: You feel bad? You really put it on them.
KD: (Big Laugh) No, we came out with intensity and wanted to show them that even thought their school is bigger, they are not better than us.
SLAM: So how does it feel to be the No. 1 team in Connecticut and have that “X” on your back?
KD: Feel’s great actually. It’s the first time New London High has been ranked No. 1 in basketball and we worked hard to get here. It also means we have step it up every game because everyone is gunnin’ for us now.
SLAM: You’ve really climbed the charts lately on the recruiting services and are now the #2 Junior in the State? How’s that feel?
KD: To be honest, I didn’t know that but it’s an honor. My dad keeps up on this stuff, but like I said it’s an honor because it means New London and my AAU team CBC (Connecticut Basketball Club) are getting props too.
SLAM: You mentioned your AAU team CBC. How are things over there, that’s a pretty serious team?
KD: It’s great; it’s like a family with great coaches. It’s more than just basketball with them. We learn about family, learning to be a man. We’ve got Freddie (Wilson), Kahlil (Dukes) and Andre (Drummond) who is #1 in the country so it’s really fun.
SLAM: Andre is about 6-11; you ever bang it on him in practice?
KD: (Laughing) I almost had ‘em once. I crossed this kid over and he was on the other side not really looking and when I went up he challenged it. It spun around the rim. Man, I had him. He looked at me and said, ‘Not this time’.
SLAM: He gave you the Dikembe Mutombo finger waive?
KD: (still laughing) Yeah, he keeps his eye out for me now.
SLAM: So most scouting services have you as a shooting guard—how do you see yourself?
KD: I think I’m a combo guard. I can make plays for my teammates and guard smaller players so I can play point, but I can also shoot and score so I can definitely play the 2. I also think I can play the 3, because I like to rebound and I have an instinct for the ball.
SLAM: So whom would you compare your game to?
KD: Maybe Rajon Rondo. We both have really big hands, long arms and rebound bigger than our size, so probably Rondo. My friends say that, so that’s probably the best comparison
SLAM: You can shoot better than him, right? His shot is a little suspect.
KD: (quickly) Oh yeah, I tell all my friends that when it comes up.
KD: Yeah, I’m a Celtic fan, but my favorite player is Kobe Bryant.
SLAM: So Celtics are your team, but you like Kobe? Why Kobe?
KD: I just love his work ethic, the way he approaches the game. His intensity.
SLAM: You’ve talked about work ethic a lot. What parts of you game are working to improve?
KD: I’m working on my left hand. I go left but usually to bring it back to my right, so I’m working on making it stronger. I’m also trying to improve my decision making—when to use the mid-range jumper, when to drive, when to pass. Just overall decision-making and I’m always working on my shot.
SLAM: I was doing some research for our conversation and I read that you don’t play much “D”. How do you respond to that?
KD: I don’t agree with that at all. I think defense is one of my strong points. I’ve already broken the steals record for my school—I have like 300 plus steals. I play D.
SLAM: I didn’t really agree with that either, that’s why I asked you your opinion on that remark.
KD: Yeah, that’s something I don’t agree with, but hey—it’s just another thing to prove people wrong about.
SLAM: So how is school going?
KD: School is good. I’m having a good year—A’s & B’s—except for Spanish. I’ve got a C+. Got to get that up.
SLAM: I took Spanish four times in college and just couldn’t get a good grade in it.
KD: Yeah, it’s tough with so many other classes that are so important. It’s hard to learn another language but I’m working at it.
SLAM: Any colleges on your radar right now?
KD: I don’t get caught up in that too much, but I’ve been told Quinnipiac, URI, UMass, BC, Pitt and UConn have shown some interest.
SLAM: What are your goals right now?
KD: Win a state title for New London first and foremost. Then I want to establish CBC and myself on the AAU circuit. Try to win the National Championship, which will hopefully get me more looks from colleges. Just try to make a name for myself.
SLAM: How would you describe yourself off the court?
KD: Off the court I like to hang with friends, crack jokes, go to movies. I like to watch football. Basically, I’m just a fun loving kid.
SLAM: Who’s your football team?
KD: Redskins. We’re down right now but we’re coming back. We’re going to get Cam Newton hopefully. We’ll be back.
SLAM: Anything you want people to know? Anything else you want to say?
KD: I’m a hard working kid who is trying make a life using my athletic talents. Just working hard.
Norman Waterman worked for Bill Mecca and Joe DeSantis while at Quinnipiac University. Having played a key role in recruiting and operations while QU moved from D-2 to D-1, Norm was able to see how players were for play at all levels of basketball. After graduating from Quinnipiac, Norm stayed close to the game via his numerous ties to AAU teams, College Coaches and talent evaluators while pursuing a career in the private sector. After a successful run as one of the top Construction Equipment salesmen in the country, Norm decided to return to the game he loved as a reporter. Follow Norm on twitter @aquamanCT or on Facebook at NewEngland HoopNews.