Penguins’ recruit likes to throw down cheeseburgers

YOUNGSTOWN — William Dunn’s height gave him a clear advantage over his Big “8” Conference opponents, dating back to his days in middle school.

The Quincy, Mich., native stands 6-feet-8-inches and is known for throwing down more than a few two-handed dunks in his career.

He is his school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,727 points and he also snagged 788 rebounds. He averaged 20.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.7 blocks and a steal per game.

Posting double-doubles in points and rebounds was commonplace for the first-team, all-Michigan player.

He signed with Youngstown State University’s men’s basketball team in mid-November of 2019. Then, he weighed around 195 pounds. Dunn is up to 211 pounds.

Dunn has been dutifully in the weight room, trying to get bigger, faster and stronger, but it’s what he does outside of the Beeghly Center that is putting on the weight.

So is something else, cheeseburgers.

“I’m a big cheeseburger guy,” Dunn said. “I love eating cheeseburgers.

“We have a little George Foreman (grill) in my apartment. I’ve been buying frozen patties. I eat those all the time.”

YSU men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun is happy Dunn is taking to the weight room. The strength he’s gained results in increased confidence.

“I think he’s definitely going to be in our rotation,” Calhoun said. “He’s going to be play quite a bit as a freshman. With having so many guys back, that’s not real common. He’s learning his way, and earning his minutes day by day, getting better.”

Calhoun said Dunn is a very skilled and athletic player, but was puzzled why he didn’t have more collegiate offers. The coach said the YSU staff thought Dunn’s upside in basketball was tremendous, and that he had a great understanding of the game.

He’s a knockdown 3-point shooter, along with skilled passing. Calhoun said he likes his front-court players — Dunn is considered a stretch four — to be able to pass, catch and shoot. Dunn has all three capabilities.

“We are really fortunate that he came,” Calhoun said.

He added that most incoming players need to focus on defense.

“In high school, they’re the best player,” Calhoun said. “They’re not asked to guard the best player on the other team because they want to keep them out of foul trouble. The speed of the game, the defensive side of the ball, is where he’s got to improve.

“I think (Dunn) always had a natural ability to make shots. I think he’s worked on getting the shot off quicker, getting his feet set. He’s a gym rat. He’s in the gym every morning on his own, putting in extra time. I think that’s why he’ll be successful.”

Quincy is a southern Michigan village about four hours away from YSU’s campus.

Dunn said the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way fans come to games.

He’s hoping to see his contingent from around the Ohio-Indiana-Michigan border come to the Beeghly Center this year. YSU has not made a determination of how many people will be allowed at basketball games this season.

“I hope that we’re going to have some crowds,” Dunn said. “Full capacity would be amazing. Just let some people come so my parents could come, my family could come. I would definitely do it with no crowds, but it would be a lot different.”

Here at YSU, he has his family, a tight-knit one that stays together on and off the court.

“We’re so close,” Dunn said. “Everybody hangs out almost every night. Everybody is in someone’s room. We’re all watching a football game or an NBA game. Nobody doesn’t get along. Everyone is friends. When we’re in the locker room together, everyone is laughing, having a good time.”


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