“For me, being Latino is like having a gold medal”: Daniel Dunne
by Jhon G. Lindarte
In our Latino community there are figures of inspiration who make us feel proud of our origin and culture. One such person is Daniel W. Dunne, a former NBA player who still works hard to offer new generations his knowledge and experience of basketball.
Dunne played and worked with renowned coaches such as Bill Raftery, PJ Carlesimo, Dave Cowens, Jim Lynam, Jerry Stackhouse, Stan Heath, and Robert Spon. In addition, he played five seasons professionally in Puerto Rico. The team won the Senior Basketball League Championship in 1978. He was on the National Team in 1979 and was named to the Olympic Team in 1980. He also played one season professionally in Australia and coached at international professional levels in Cork, Ireland.
The key to his success has many faces: dedication, academic education, learning to play as a team, discipline, perseverance, and commitment, but in addition to these values for Dunne there are two essential elements to achieve success: listening to the good advice and avoiding people who say “you can’t do it.”
“No one can tell you what you can or cannot do. People told me I couldn’t play basketball. If you listen only to people who tell you that you will not be able, in the end you will not do it, but if you have the desire to sing, dance, draw, work with cars, etc., you have to do it. Don’t listen to people who say no to you. Follow your dreams, but you have to work hard. If you can’t get where you want to go, at least you’re going to be better than where you were, because you’ve worked for your dreams. If you don’t do anything because someone told you that you couldn’t, then you’re going to lose, because if you don’t try, you won’t win. If you have the skills, the intelligence and the support of the family, continue with your dreams, ”Dunne told CNY Latino.
Dunne is currently the founder of Full Court International, an international player placement agency, and has taught for at least thirty years at Monroe High School in Rochester, where he encourages his students to pursue their athletic goals.
“Young people need to have desire, passion, heart, intelligence and internal strength, because many people will tell you that you cannot, but you must persevere. If you don’t have the desire and the interest, you won’t be able to do it. When I was young, many people told me that I couldn’t do it. My high school counselor asked me what I wanted to do in my life, and I replied that I wanted to go to college on a basketball scholarship because I wanted to play professional basketball. He told me that according to my exams I had to be a mechanic. If I had listened to that counselor, I would not have been a basketball player, but a mechanic, a profession about which I know nothing, “he said.
Part of his career as a basketball player was built in Puerto Rico, the country of origin of his mother. Dane is very proud of his Latino heritage: “for me being Latino is like having a gold medal, because it represents that I am Puerto Rican, Latino,” he said.
Dunne recalls that when he was a player he learned that racial differences disappear on the basketball court, as the team must work together to win. And now, as a coach, he assures that the challenge is different: “when you are a player you think about how to improve and how to help the team from your skills, but when you are an instructor you are like a conductor: you not only have an instrument, but that you need to organize all the other instruments so that they are aligned to ‘play music’, which in this case would be winning a match”.
At sixty years old Dunne affirms without any doubt: “I am very proud that I taught something to the next generation. I feel very satisfied and I have a level of satisfaction that I did something right, because I have passed my knowledge and wisdom to the next generation, to players who want to learn.
Jhon Gonzalez Lindarte has been working as a journalist since 2012 in the media: newspapers, television, radio and websites. He usually writes about literature, books and authors. He also did illustrations professionally. Jhon graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Central University of Venezuela with a BA in Journalism in 2015. His hobbies are literature, drawing, art, culture, cinema and theater.
The three photos combined with the logo were taken from the Full Court International website.
Basketball Ring and Basketball with Trophy photos by Edwin Ariel Valladares and RODNAE Productions from Pexels