New London — Ed Cooley was the most frequently seen college basketball coach at New London High School boys' basketball games last year. At home and on the road.
And it turns out that Cooley's diligence just got him one of the greatest players in New London history.
Reigning state player of the year Kris Dunn, about to enter his senior season at New London, chose Providence College over UConn on Wednesday.
Cooley is about to enter his first season coaching PC. He recruited Dunn while coaching Fairfield last season.
"It meant a lot to me that coach Cooley was at all my games," Dunn said.
Dunn said it was not an easy decision to pick Providence over the defending national champions.
"Jim Calhoun does a great job preparing his players for the pros," Dunn said. "But I had the best connection with coach Cooley."
Cooley was an assistant under Al Skinner at Boston College before taking the Fairfield job in 2007. Cooley's top assistant at Providence, ex-UConn assistant Andre LaFleur, also played a major role in Dunn's recruitment.
It's been a whirlwind week for Dunn, who decided to forgo prep school at Wilbraham & Monson in Massachusetts and return to New London.
"New London is where I started and where I want to finish," Dunn said. "It's where my friends are. I'm looking forward to going after another championship."
The Whalers went 27-0 last season and won the Class L title. They were ranked No. 1 in Connecticut.
Dunn averaged 26 points per game last season as the Whalers won the program's ninth state title. Dunn was named The Day's Player of the Year for the second straight season and has a chance to break Tyson Wheeler's record for most career points at New London.
Dunn was also named New Haven Register and Connecticut High School Coaches' Association Player of the Year.