Dunham Becoming a Name to Know

Southport - Pendleton Heights sophomore Kellen Dunham isn't the best-known Indiana high school prospect right now, but that could change as he prepares for the start of the AAU season. Dunham talks about the summer, his game, and interest from a handful of Big Ten schools - Indiana included...

Southport – Attention finds major-college caliber recruits at different times during their prep careers.

For some it happens as soon as they set foot on a high school campus. Such was the case for the likes of North Central's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Broad Ripple's Ron Patterson, a pair of 2012 recruits that had major college offers before their freshman seasons were in the books.

For others, the wait is a little bit longer. Whether it's because they come from a smaller classification high school or they haven't played on a big-name AAU team during the summer, they find themselves overshadowed.

This was the case of Pendleton Heights guard Kellen Dunham. Little was known about the rangy 6'5" shooting guard before a couple of months ago. That has since changed, thanks to a sophomore season that included a 22.5 scoring average, 40.6 percent shooting from 3-point range (56-of-138) and 88.7 percent marksmanship from the free-throw line (77-of-87).

Add in the fact that he's now playing with Coach Bob Pryor's Indiana Elite One program, and Dunham is must-see prospect for the summer AAU season.

"This summer is going to be pretty big for me," said Dunham, who was in Southport over the weekend practicing with his AAU teammates. "In the past summers I haven't gotten as much attention as some of these other guys out here. So it should be a big step up."

Dunham appears up to the challenge. A recent growth spurt has given him the size to play on the wing at the college level, and he has long had the shooting ability to provide a high-major program with scoring punch from well behind the 3-point arc. He put that shooting stroke on display during Saturday morning's practice, knocking down a series of consecutive 3-pointers during a four-on-four scrimmage setting.

With his offensive game intact, Dunham says improving defensively will be a top priority this summer. He'll get an opportunity to do that thanks to not only Indiana Elite One's challenging AAU schedule, but also the fact he'll often be matched up with his AAU teammate, Patterson, during practice.

"Going against Ron is going to help me a lot," Dunham said. "I'm going to have to guard his caliber of player if I'm going to play in college. I have to get used to it. It's going to be a challenge every day."

While Patterson will test him on the practice court, Dunham is also looking forward to playing alongside players like him, Southport's Kellon Thomas, Broad Ripple's Aaron Payne and Lawrence Central's Jared Drew, among others.

"Playing with those guys is helping me out a lot because they are looking to set me up," Dunham said. "On my high school team we also have (point guard) Kendall (Waters), but that's just one guy. Here we have a lot of guys who can set others up."

That should result in even more good looks for Dunham, and as a result even more high major attention. As the AAU season unfolds, Dunham is one of the young Indiana high school talents that has a chance to quickly go from little known to well known in recruiting circles.

"It should be fun," Dunham said about the prospects of more recruiting attention. "I'd like to be able to see a lot of different schools."

Some schools are already aware of Dunham and taking looks. He said Indiana, Vanderbilt and Valparaiso have all been in to watch him work out, and Michigan's staff has talked about wanting to come in and watch him work out as well. He's been to Bloomington on a couple of different occasions to watch IU games, and said he's received his share of mail from the IU staff.

While the prospects of being recruited by Indiana and some of the other major college programs is intriguing to Dunham, his focus is currently on doing what he can this summer to improve his game and to helping Indiana Elite One become one of the nation's better 16-and-under teams this summer.

"I'm hoping we can win a lot of tournaments, get a lot of wins and improve my game," Dunham said. "I think we can be one of the top (AAU) teams in the country. We can get there."

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