UPDATED: Home court advantageNot many area high school basketball players have their own indoor training facility to shoot in, but Red Wing senior Dylan Gorman does and he has taken full advantage.
By: Eric Lear, The Republican Eagle
Not many area high school basketball players have their own indoor training facility to shoot in, but Red Wing senior Dylan Gorman does and he has taken full advantage.
Around 10 years ago Dylan's father, Tom, built a makeshift basketball court in a 40-by-30 shed on the family's property. Since then, Tom Gorman estimates his son has taken upwards of 700,000 shots in the shed.
Tom Gorman's passion for the game rubbed off on his son at a young age.
"He started really early," Tom Gorman said. "When Dylan was in second (or) third grade we use to go outside in the middle of winter and shoot."
This became a regular, year-round occurrence as the shed has a heating system. The two would shoot four to five days a week.
"He always rebounded for me in the shed and would push me as hard as he could," Dylan Gorman said. "He was really helpful."
To track his improvement, Dylan Gorman and his dad would keep tally of how many shots he made on a given day.
"I remember back in middle school him and his dad shooting free throws (in the shed)," Red Wing senior Coleman Kelly said. "They've been doing that ever since he's been playing basketball."
All that practice paid off for Dylan Gorman as a youth. He won three statewide free-throw shooting contests; however, that hasn't stopped him from asking his dad for advice.
"I was having free throw trouble a little bit last year and he's been everyday out there trying to help me tweak little things," Dylan Gorman said.
Tom Gorman knows his basketball. He played in high school at Goodhue and he has attended many basketball games at the University of Minnesota.
"We didn't play all year round like some kids do now, but we played a lot of basketball," Tom Gorman said.
All that preparation and time spent practicing with his father has put Dylan Gorman in position to start at point guard in his senior season.
"He loves the game," Red Wing senior Pat Kelly said. "He's always there in the summer and always putting in the extra work. He'll do anything for the team. He goes the extra mile to get better and to enhance our team."
Last year Dylan Gorman saw limited minutes and nerves sometimes got the better of him when he was on the court.
"He kind of felt like last year when he'd make a mistake or things didn't go very well, he wasn't able to play through those mistakes," Red Wing coach Doug Toivonen said. "I told him that one of those reasons why is probably because we weren't as confident in him last year as we are this year. With him being one of our major players (this year) he's going to be able to play through those mistakes and maybe that's going to help him relax a little bit when he's out on the court."
Gorman sought some outside help to cool his nerves. He played basketball on a team in the Twin Cities during the spring and fall. In addition to practicing twice a week and playing in tournaments on the weekend, Dylan Gorman attended individual lessons -- all of which have helped him relax on the court.
"Being more comfortable is key," he said. "I was always nervous. You don't make the stupid mistakes because you are so excited and jittery. You just calm down and play basketball."
His hard work and passion for the game haven't gone unnoticed by his teammates and coaches. Dylan Gorman was named a co-captain this year.
"He's put more time into basketball than I think anybody on this team," Coleman Kelly said.
Said Toivonen: "We've got a lot of kids that put in a bunch of time but I think that he has gone above and beyond what is expected. I think he's earned the respect of the rest of his team because of what he's done and how good he is."
Toivonen added that Dylan Gorman will be called upon to score and he will likely see more minutes than any other player.
If he has a tough game or his shooting touch isn't where he'd like it, you can bet Dylan Gorman will be back in the shed working on his game with his father.
"I can get a little frustrated with my shot sometimes," he said. "I just go out there and shoot, get it out of my system."