Basehor-Linwood junior thinks basketball all year round
Even though Brandon Dye was busy with football practice every afternoon this fall, the Basehor-Linwood junior always had basketball on his mind.
Dye said he usually had about 30 minutes between the time school was dismissed and the time he had to be on the field for football practice. Most afternoons he spent that time shooting hoops in the BLHS gym.
"There were a few guys who played every day after school," Dye said. "So I usually joined them until about 3:15 or so. It was just a way to keep my shot from getting too rusty."
After going through basketball tryouts last week, Dye determined that he still has some work to do.
Dye was the second leading receiver for coach Paul Brown's football team this fall and he said that his basketball skills often came in handy when he was running routes. His seven catches and 129 yards both ranked second on the team and his five touchdowns were the most by a receiver.
Despite having a solid year on the gridiron, Dye said he anticipated being a bit out of shape when it was time to switch to the hard court.
"I don't think I'm in that bad of shape all football season," Dye said. "But it always hits me when basketball gets here. I don't know if its because there's more running or what, but it usually takes me a while to get into good basketball shape."
While Dye isn't exactly ready for wind sprints at this point, Courtney said he thought having the junior play football was a good thing overall.
"My philosophy is if a kid's good enough to play a couple of sports and he likes it, then he should play," Courtney said. "It can only help him and it usually ends up improving their athletic ability."
Dye said he wouldn't have it any other way. In the spring he plays baseball as well, so for this junior there really is no offseason that's what made it so easy to shoot around in the gym before football.
"I play sports year round," Dye said. "I never go home after school. It was great having something to do to kill the time before football practice and I think it'll help my game this year."
While Dye plays some type of sport during every season, the only sport he plays during all seasons is basketball. This past summer and fall he played on a club basketball team that included players from four different Kaw Valley League teams. The team played two games a week and Dye said playing with the guys he would soon be playing against was a blast.
"It makes the basketball season cooler because I've already got to know some of those guys," Dye said. "So when we meet during the season, it'll be a little more fun."
While Courtney is a believer in his players playing other sports, he said he liked it a lot that some of them, like Dye, play basketball all the time. The only thing he worries about is one of them getting hurt, but he said that could happen any time anywhere, so worrying about it would be foolish.
The BLHS basketball team lost all five of its starters from last year's team, and only Dye and a couple other players have any varsity experience. Because of that, Dye said he's expecting to contribute a little more than he's used to, but thanks to offseason basketball and fall football he feels like he's ready.
"Football helped me because it's something athletic," Dye said. "Playing with the KVL team helped me because it's basketball. I'm really looking forward to the school season I don't like this down time between football and basketball."
The Bobcats will open the season on Friday, Nov. 30, at Bonner Springs.