Archive for Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Dye staying home; signs with Spires

February 19, 2003

When Basehor-Linwood senior Brandon Dye finalized his plans about where he would play college basketball, St. Mary coach Phil Connor thought it would be neat to do something special for his newest signee.

So instead of having the usual signing day ceremony, where the parents and the coaches stand behind him and smile, Connor brought three current St. Mary basketball players to Dye's signing Thursday, Feb. 13.

One of them, senior Billy Shelley from Lansing, brought his jersey, which Dye wore for the signing and the picture.

"Billy has been a great player for us and he's one of five guards who will be graduating this year," Connor said. "So not only was it neat to have Brandon wear the jersey for the picture, but it also symbolizes a passing of the torch."

Next season, Dye will be counted on to fill part of the void left by the departing guards and it wasn't until Thursday that he realized how excited he was.

"It's been a lot of fun trying to pick a school," Dye said. "And every time I talked about it, I got excited. But now that I've had a signing day, my blood's flowing. I'm excited about my choice and I'm excited about my future at St. Mary."

Dye said he chose St. Mary because of a few reasons. The first was the opportunity. He knew the school was losing five guards and saw a chance to contribute right away.

Another was that the campus is less than 15 minutes from his home.

"I don't think I'm ready to go off to Texas or California on my own," Dye said. "So this was a great fit for me. I only live 10 or 15 minutes away and it will give my family a chance to keep watching me play."

That was just fine with Dye's parents, Rondel and Denise, who are looking forward to watching their son play for four more years.

"Both Denise and I love basketball so much," Rondel said. "We're just really excited he's staying close to home so we can still watch him."

And with that, Dye hit Connor's nail directly on the head.

Connor said his main goal is to make St. Mary College the place for local basketball talent. He wants to sign as many players as he can from nearby high schools so the area gets a sense of ownership in the Spires.

"This is a real exciting time for our school," Connor said. "And Brandon is exactly what we were looking for. He has good character, family values, he's a good student and it helps that he can hit the three."

Dye is known around the Kaw Valley League as a deadly three-point shooter. But his favorite part of his game is his ability to drive and create.

Dye said his offensive skills are ahead of his defensive skills, and he's going to focus a lot of time on improving his defense.

For BLHS coach Bruce Courtney, seeing Dye sign was a special moment for him, as well. Dye became the first Bobcat to sign to play college basketball during Courtney's tenure as varsity coach.

"This is my first, and it's a very special moment," Courtney said. "This is a quality young man taking a step to the next level. It just adds a whole new excitement to our program."

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