Reporting David McCoy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Riley Dearring was well known at Minnetonka.
But the big schools were not recruiting him hard — except for Wisconsin. And his skills are a family affair.
Riley Dearring was a finalist for Mr. Basketball this season. Just like his dad was in 1992. Darren Dearring starred at DeLaSalle and went on to play at Virginia.
“It’s still hard to beat him,” Riley said. “He can still play a little bit. So we have our battles in one-on-one every once in a while.”
Being the son of a star, you get the great genetics, but also the pressure that comes with them.
“Now he comes along, and they’re like, ‘I hope you’re as good as your dad,’” Darren said. “And I always tell him, you do what you can and to the best of your ability.”
His son said he plans to “create his own legacy.”
“You just gotta be comfortable with who you are and play the game that you’re supposed to play,” Riley said.
Riley now heads across the border to the Badger State.
“Bo Ryan’s a great coach, and he wins,” Riley said. “He does really good with Minnesota players … because a lot of guys that end up going to Wisconsin weren’t heavily recruited by Minnesota.”
That’s the challenge new Gophers coach Richard Pitino faces going forward — retaining the state’s best talent.
How does Pitino do that? Darren answered it.
“He’s new, he’s young, he’s coming in,” Darren said. “He has to really keep his ear to the streets and really just find out who’s going to be a good fit for his program.”
That’s what Riley found at Wisconsin. And Darren knows how valuable that is, because it’s something he didn’t.
“Don’t just pick a school, because that’s what I did,” Darren said. “I picked Virginia … And I didn’t play a lick.”