All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year: New London's Kris Dunn

New London High School senior Kris Dunn is The Day's All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year, as well as earning a host of other honors this season, including Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year and McDonald's All-American. Dunn will play next season at Providence College.
New London High School senior Kris Dunn is The Day's All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year, as well as earning a host of other honors this season, including Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year and McDonald's All-American. Dunn will play next season at Providence College. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Buy Photo

New London's Dunn is an All-American in every sense of the word

New London - A simple perusal of his grocery list of accomplishments would illustrate Kris Dunn's high school basketball career.

Or maybe four little words do it better: He tried really hard.

"His passion for basketball is unsurpassed by anyone I've known in my 25 years of coaching." New London coach Craig Parker said of the only player in the estimable history of the school to own a banner in his name on the wall at Conway Gymnasium. "He played every possession at both ends from day one. Normally, when you coach a great player, they take possessions off. Kris Dunn's defining attribute is that he's wired to play hard."

Dunn can add The Day's 2011-12 Boys' Basketball Player of the Year to his resume, which is already longer than Dunn's 6-foot-4-inch frame.

Dunn was named Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year, also played in the 2012 McDonald's All-American Game in Chicago and the 2012 Jordan Brand Classic. Dunn, headed to Providence College on a basketball scholarship, is the No. 24 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.

He also owns a 3.23 grade point average.

Dunn averaged 31.4 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks per game this past season, leading the Whalers (23-3) to the Class LL semifinals. He eclipsed 2,000 points and became the school's career scoring leader, breaking the record set by Tyson Wheeler in 1994. He was part of the undefeated, 2011 Class L state championship team and also helped the Whalers make the finals in 2010.

He was named a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys' Basketball Player of the Year award, joining a list that has included Dwight Howard, Chauncey Billups, Jason Kidd, Paul Pierce and Chris Bosh.

Dunn was born in New London but moved to Virginia as an infant to live with his mother. After she wasn't able to provide adequate care, Dunn moved back at the age of 10, riding in a car with his dad, John Seldon, whom he hadn't met.

Dunn recalled those days during an interview with The Day in March, calling himself "a lost child." But he sure found himself quickly.

Seldon, who was an elite high school athlete at Waterford, remembered his son's first game as a youth football player, a hint of foreshadowing for his career.

"We were losing in the fourth quarter and it was like fourth-and-12," Seldon said. "Kris was the running back. They pitched it to him and he did a Barry Sanders. He went left, then right, touchdown. He even lost a shoe and it didn't matter. Ridiculous."

Dunn started as a freshman basketball player and football player at New London. He credits Jack Cochran for instilling a hunger - and desire to get stronger - underscored by Parker's previous quote about Dunn's passion.

This is the third time Dunn has been named The Day's Player of the Year.

"My whole career here has been wonderful," Dunn said. "All my teammates, Torin (Childs-Harris), Johnson (Benjamin), Bryce (Childs), Shakim (Curry), to the guys now. Coach Parker has been great to me, showing me the importance of fundamentals. The community has been great. No one hated. This is honestly my second family. If I make it, I'll give back."

M.DIMAURO@THEDAY.COM

New London's Kris Dunn, a senior who will play next year for Providence College, was named Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year and was the Eastern Connecticut Conference's first McDonald's All-American.
New London's Kris Dunn, a senior who will play next year for Providence College, was named Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year and was the Eastern Connecticut Conference's first McDonald's All-American. Dana Jensen/The Day Buy Photo
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