July 30, 2013

Dunham spells winner

Kevin McCarthy

Call it a soft skill if you will but it should be easy for recruiters to extrapolate what Rolaun Dunham feels for his Riverbank hometown and high school and apply that critical element to what he will bring to his college and basketball team. The term is L-O-Y-A-L-T-Y.

photo of Rolaun Dunham

Also a member of the Stanco Stampede organization, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Dunham talks of all things Riverbank with phrases like “we're family.” Ask him for his best hoops moment and the answer is “before a game when I was a sophomore, a teammate ran over and gave a shirt to one of our coach's relatives who has autism. It brought tears to my eyes.”

To a query about what his friends would say if asked to describe him, Dunham said, “That I'm committed to what I do and that I'm a mentor.”

Besides his makeup, the 2014 prospect also sports a 3.8 grade point average and is looking to major in computer science at the next level.

So you get the idea of his constitution.

And yes, Dunham can play a bit too.

Here's Riverbank High Coach Jeff Jennings on Dunham: “The only true way to appreciate Ro's game is to watch him practice lift and work on his game. He has an unbelievable work ethic and drive. In my 18 years, I've never had a player work harder. As a player, he has never sought the limelight. He's incredibly humble and he does whatever the team needs to win and often times passes up opportunities to build his stats. He's just not that kind of guy. As a result, he's flown under the radar but what people are finding out is he's a winner who gives you everything he's got and then a little more.”

What's interesting is the circumstantial duality in what he is asked to provide. Dunham is called upon to score more with his Riverbank team but, with Stanco, it's more of a distribute the ball focus. In the former, he totaled 37 points in the playoffs this past season and followed that up with 20 points versus Marin Catholic. Earlier, he tapped Ripon for 27.

Riverbank finished 24-5 overall, 10-2 in the Trans Valley League. Dunham finished second in the league scoring at 16.1 points per game and has started since his freshman season.

To a question zeroing in on what he does best during a game, Dunham offered “my communications skills, getting people involved and that I like to defend.”

Flipping that approach 180 degrees, he said, “my handle, my shot and my overall speed and agility” as areas he is always working on to better.

As for recruiting, Jennings offered “Cal State University Stanislaus has offered, with contact from Cal Poly, Air Force, Pepperdine and UC Irvine.”

Dunham's mother played basketball in high school and, for those seeking an it's-a-small -world tidbit of college basketball trivia, his uncle played at Chaminade and was a member of the Silverswords team that defeated Virginia and Ralph Sampson back in 1982