Helping the next generation
After four years in the basketball program, Churchill County High School senior Dalton Kaady has learned a lot; with his senior year, he decided to teach the younger players what he wished he learned when he first started.
Since joining varsity, Kaady has scored 240 points with 24 three-pointers and 35 free throws. He also has 89 rebounds, 75 assists and 62 steals.
Kaady first joined the basketball team his freshman year and then played almost a full year of junior varsity; he was brought up to varsity right before playoffs as a sophomore. He became a starter his junior year.
This year, however, has been described as incredible.
“I think it’s been one of the best years I’ve played,” Kaady said. “It’s just been an incredible year; everybody’s been working super hard.”
Kaady said he’s impressed with his young teammates this year. Of the 11 members of the team, six are freshmen and sophomores. According to Kaady, though, fans wouldn’t be able to tell they were so young.
“I’ve had a lot more maturity out of some of these freshmen and sophomores than I have kids my age in past years,” he said.
He has also been working to give the younger players the benefit of his experience as a team leader. He said he wanted them to have the best year possible.
“I wanted to give them all my best effort and be the best leader I could,” he said. “Give them everything I’ve got.”
Fallon boys’ coach Brad Barton said he’s coached Kaady for a long time in basketball as well as football; they first started working together during the senior’s freshman year.
Barton recalled Kaady had a difficult junior year in the varsity program. He said the senior leaders at the time did not mentor the younger players as well as they could have, and it was hard on Kaady.
“He got stuck in a bad situation,” Barton said. “He wasn’t real happy with how his junior year went, so it was nice to see him come back and assume a leadership role as a senior and provide leadership to these guys that he should have had.”
He also said Kaady has helped him with making adjustments to improve the basketball program as a whole.
Kaady is sad to see his time on the varsity team end, but grateful for all he learned from the game.
“It’s been a great four years, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs. It’s crazy that it went by so fast.”
After graduation, Kaady plans to enter the Nevada Air National Guard. He said he’s open to other opportunities, though, and would love to continue playing basketball or football after high school.
Ever trying to be a good mentor, Kaady had some parting words of wisdom for his young teammates.
“Always participate and never quit,” he said. “Don’t let anything get in the way of you loving the game and playing the game. Give it your all, because it’s going to be soon it’s the last game you’ll play and you just want to give it everything you have so you don’t have anything you regret.”