Long Island's Ryan Dunn eager to be picked in NBA Draft

The former Long Island Lutheran High School star is hoping his defensive skills will get him to the NBA.

Kevin Maher

Jun 21, 2024, 10:32 PM

Updated 21 days ago


Like all NBA hopefuls, Ryan Dunn watched last week's NBA Finals and noticed all the guys who made a difference on defense.
After all, defense is what he does best.
Now, the former Long Island Lutheran High School star is hoping his defensive skills will get him to the NBA, too.
"I think that's the biggest thing I'm hearing. Defense gets you on the floor," said Dunn in an exclusive interview with News12 Long Island.
Dunn did the interview from a hotel room in Toronto where he was working out for the NBA's Toronto Raptors, who have the 19th and 31st picks in Wednesday's NBA Draft.
Those picks are toward the end of the first round and the beginning of the second round, which is where most draft experts believe Ryan will be selected.
It was his 12th team workout and he still had a few more to go.
"You're doing this for a really good reason, so everyday be grateful. You have to give your best effort you can because you only get this one time," he said.
Dunn has also worked out for teams like the Knicks, Celtics, Magic and Bucks.
All of them are intrigued by the 6 foot, 6 inch forward who declared for the draft after two seasons at the University of Virginia.
Dunn credits a growth spurt of four inches late in high school and Virginia head coach Tony Bennett for his defensive prowess.
"He really made me see what I could do on that end of the floor," said Dunn about Bennett, the national title winning coach whose teams have a reputation for playing tough defense and a grinding, slow pace of college basketball.
Dunn likely won't be among the first players drafted, but some draft experts say he is the best defender in the entire draft. He was an all-conference defender last season and averaged nearly three blocks and seven rebounds a game. He said he takes pride in winning battles under his own basket.
"It's being a dog. Not being afraid of any challenge. Guarding the best players and having those challenges. Taking on the best players, that's something I really enjoy being from New York," Dunn explained.
And it's a skill he looks forward to bringing to whichever team calls his name Wednesday in Brooklyn.
"I'm just excited for it. I know when that day comes and my name gets called it'll be a surreal moment," said Dunn, who was hoping to be at Barclays Center for the NBA Draft.

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