MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Dearrings from Minnetonka have deep family roots with the Badgers: the older brother is a backup guard, Dad is a basketball trainer, and the younger brother hopes to play basketball for Wisconsin one day as well.
It was a big deal for the Dearrings when Wisconsin beat Arizona — it meant Riley would take the court in the Final Four.
He’s a product of Minnetonka High School, and he played well enough to catch coach Bo Ryan’s attention in Wisconsin.
“It’s the town, it’s the coaching, it’s everything. It’s a magical place” Riley Dearring’s father and basketball trainer Darren said. “When we took our official visit there, we knew it was the place for us.”
But Riley isn’t the only basketball talent in the family — Jalin is an 8th grade prospect who wants to be like his brother and play in the Final Four one day.
“It’s exciting, for me and him. Two Final Fours — I think that’s great,” Jalin said. “I just can’t wait, and I’m ready for him to play.”
Jalin says he has to follow his dad’s advice before he knows if he’ll play in the tournament one day, and it’s probably good advice. Darren Dearring has his own impressive résumé, as a star at DeLaSalle high school in the early 90s and later at the University of Virginia. Before his son showed promise on the court, Darren was tutoring him.
“I always taught him how to be a guard. If he was 5’7″, 6’7″, or 7’7, I’m going to teach him this way” Darren said. “I work on ball handling and shooting. I was a shooter. We just work on the mental part of the game.”
Most of Riley’s time this season has been spent watching the big players, waiting for his chance to shine as a Badger.
“You know, of course every young player wants to play,” Darren said. “But he understands that no one knew who Fred Kaminsky was a year and a half ago. So he understands that he has to wait his turn and he has to be ready when his number’s called.”
Still, another Dearring may take the big stage one day, if he keeps his goals set and his mind focused.
“He always teaches me how to maneuver, and just be humble about everything,” Jalin said.
The Badgers are set to take on Kentucky Saturday evening.