Dunn was a role model, which can sometimes take on this abstract meaning that people — somewhere — look up to him. In Dunn’s case, he took a more hand’s-on approach in his direct community. Whether it was something simple like taking a picture with young fan, or something with no cameras around like speaking regularly with a pair of inner-city Providence high school students he met during a school visit to make sure they were keeping their grades up. There are also countless examples of signing autographs for anyone who wanted one, even fans who heckled him while eating.
It was recently announced that Dunn would be part of the adidas family for shoes and apparel, an important step for a high draft pick to lock up. In an article for The Vertical, Nick DePaula said “Dunn could emerge as the most marketable player [in this year’s draft].” Part of that is his basketball acumen that will likely make him a household name early in his career in the NBA. Another part is the harrowing tale of his upbringing that Friar fans know like chapter and verse, by now. The other, more intangible factor is that Dunn is a good person. He says the right things. He does the right things. He’s good in front of a camera and he’s even better off it.
Providence College should be proud to call Kris Dunn an alumnus and not because he’s about to become an instant millionaire when he is selected high in the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Providence College should be proud because their mission worked and Dunn thrived off the court, as much as on. He matured during his four years in Friartown and now heads into the world, diploma in hand, with a chance to fulfill his dreams when he hears his name called by Adam Silver on the stage of the Barclays Center. Kris Dunn: future NBA star, college graduate.
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