All your favorite teams and sources in one place

Build your feed

Your Teams.
All Sources.

Build your feed

© 2024 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

No results found.
Sneakers and swats: Ryan Dunn’s unorthodox path to UVA
(Credit: Jaylynn Nash/USA TODAY Sports)

Sneakers and swats: Ryan Dunn’s unorthodox path to UVA

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (BVM) – Ryan Dunn might be found around the University of Virginia campus testing out his new camera, taking photos of his friends and scenic views around Charlottesville.

But how would he stand out from the ordinary college student?

It could be by his sneakers. Dunn owns over 30 pairs including Travis Scott Jordan 1’s which go for $1,000 or more on the resale market. If it is not by that, it would certainly be his 6-foot-8 size that has made him one of the most feared defenders on the court in the ACC.

The sophomore standout’s 2.2 blocks per game lead the conference this season and his 1.6 steals place ninth among league leaders. Virginia’s human pogo stick is viewed as a consensus first-round pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Dunn’s future in basketball is bright, but his path to this point has been unorthodox.

Baseball rather than basketball was the No. 1 sport in the household growing up in Freeport, New York, as Ryan followed his older brother Justin’s path. Justin, seven years older than Ryan, showed his brother a path to success in athletics. 

The elder Dunn brother went on to pitch at Boston College and after a fantastic junior season, he was the nineteenth overall selection by the New York Mets in the 2016 MLB Draft. He has since made 32 starts in the major leagues.

“He always had a dream to play MLB,” Ryan said. “He showed me the work and attitude it took to be great at the game.”

Ryan shared the same goal at one point, but around the time that Justin was drafted, he suffered an elbow injury that forced him to miss time. This is when his transition to the hardwood began.

He started practicing his dribbling throughout his rehab and by the time he was fully healthy, basketball was more at the forefront. Ryan did not start to take the sport seriously until he was 16 years old and just a couple of years after that, he was off to the University of Virginia on a full-ride scholarship. 

Despite not being fully committed to basketball throughout his entire high school career, Dunn was still the No. 147 ranked player in the Class of 2022 according to 247 Sports out of Perkiomen School and the No. 4 player in the Empire State. 

But it was not until he arrived in Charlottesville that he truly began to blossom.

Dunn did not make a single start as a freshman, yet he still managed to block over one shot per game. His frame and athleticism caught the attention of NBA scouts, and with the production that he has had as a sophomore, his stock has skyrocketed.

A year from now, Dunn could be in the midst of his rookie season in the NBA, but that is the furthest thing from his mind.

“I’m just trying to play college basketball,” Dunn said. “Whatever happens next, happens next. That’s in God’s hands. Right now I’m just trying to help the team win games throughout the season.”

Dunn is taking it game by game, but he is hoping in the long run to help the Cavaliers win an ACC championship and then to make a run in the NCAA Tournament in March. Maybe after that, he will look to join his brother as the next member of his family to be a professional athlete.