Archive for Friday, August 8, 2003

Two-sport standout Dillingham keeps busy schedule

Free State High senior spent summer competing in basketball, football — and fielding phone calls from colleges

August 8, 2003

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Busy doesn't begin to describe Dain Dillingham's summer.

The Free State High senior-to-be played in loads of basketball tournaments, found time for football camp and even logged some seven-on-seven gridiron action.

He also spent lots of time on the phone.

Indiana State University, Yale, Columbia and Cornell have been after the two-sport standout, along with numerous junior college and other smaller schools. He also has offers to play football at both Kansas University and Minnesota.

And to think school starts in less than a week.

"Right in the middle of July, I think is when the period started when coaches can make calls," Dillingham said. "That's when a lot of people started calling."

Dillingham, a two-year starter and All-Sunflower League guard for FSHS, has the athleticism coaches love, along with good work ethic and near-perfect grades. Throw in a breakthrough season for the Firebird football squad last year, when he caught 28 passes for 582 yards and four touchdowns, and he's a hot commodity.

With all that, it's no surprise Dillingham's phone keeps ringing.

"No, not at all. Not with an athlete of Dain's caliber," FSHS football coach Bob Lisher said. "He's a hard worker, he's a good athlete, and he's a good kid."

Best of all, excelling in basketball and football shouldn't hurt Dillingham.

"I think that college coaches really like the two-sport athletes," Lisher said. "They're excited about his basketball ability and want to see what he can do on the court. Something like that just proves how good of an athlete he is and how that can help him."

At this point, Dillingham isn't sure what his future holds. Playing basketball or football would be great, but he also knows about the big picture.

"I'd say that I might be leaning a little more toward football," he said. "It's a little bit because of the schools, but I don't need to be focused on the school so long as I can get a good education. That's why the Ivy League schools look so good because you get a degree from there and it's like money in the bank."

FSHS basketball coach Jack Schreiner is no stranger to this routine. "I thought a lot of this would be done after Keith (Wooden) left," Schreiner said. "Now it's starting all over again."

Wooden, a 2003 FSHS graduate, signed with Arizona State last November, so Schreiner knows how to sort out the good schools from the bad. If a junior college sends him something, Schreiner has a simple response.

"His grades are too good for that," he said.

Dillingham fields multiple calls a week and has received numerous letters and flyers. He likes most of the coaches he meets, and said, for the most part, the whole thing has been a blast.

But he's still waiting on one selling point.

"It's been what I expected," he said. "I just wish I could get into the visits. I haven't gotten to take any of those yet."

But who has time for that?

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