Updated: Jun 11, 2022
In its second rendition, the 2021 Border League boosted a plethora of talented players and teams from around the nation. Border League’s premier bracket, GEICO Top Flight Invite, has become one of the most anticipated preseason high school tournaments. In an action-packed weekend at Coronado High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Pro Insight was on-hand to cover the showcase and caught up with Harvard-Westlake (CA) / Team WhyNot (CA) wing Brady Dunlap. Dunlap led Harvard-Westlake, who played under the club program ‘Wolverines’, to a third-place finish in the ‘Great 8’ bracket with a 2-1 record. An elite floor-spacer, the 6’7 prospect has smooth shooting mechanics and consistent shot prep, enabling him to affect the game as a shooter off the catch, on the move, or off the bounce.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Dunlap highlighted how other sports have helped aid his basketball development, his recruitment update, the importance of sacrifice, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Brady Dunlap, from North Hollywood, California:
Pro Insight: How do you feel about the Harvard-Westlake team this year?
Brady Dunlap: I feel like we have a lot of returning guys that have played at a high level. We were in the Open Division the last two years in a row so I feel like the chemistry is there with those guys. It’s integrating the new guys and they’re just grinding us in practice right now. We’re really good when the pressure is not there, but when they really start to pressure us, we start to break apart so that’s what we are really working on the most. Probably just being able to adjust to pressure with our teammates, like trying to bond together, if that makes sense. That’s probably what we are working on the most. I like where our team is at right now and we’re going to get a lot better.
PI: Talk a bit about your background. How did you get into basketball?
BD: My dad is actually a Division I basketball coach. He has been for the last 35-ish years so I’ve always grown up around the game. I’ve moved like seven or eight times in my life just traveling to different teams like Alabama, NC State, Western Michigan, Georgia. I’ve seen it all so I kind of grew up around high-level basketball so I kind of always wanted to be there and play like that. So really my dad just started training me whenever I could remember, I was like four years old. I mean it was stupid drills because I was young, but still just having that base, I’ve always loved the game. It’s always been my favorite sport so it’s always been my dream.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
BD: Yeah I played football my freshman year. I was a quarterback and all the years leading up to freshman year. I played baseball up until my 6th or 7th grade year and I also played volleyball my freshman year because my dad is big on how other sports help your main sport so baseball is just the mental aspect, football is the toughness, and volleyball is the jumping ability and stuff like that. So just how every sport helps each other. I’ve kind of focused on basketball now. Might play football next year, but I’m 100 percent basketball right now.
PI: What are your current measurements?
BD: Right now I think I am 6’7, like a legit 6’7 not in the shoes 6’7 if you know what I mean (laughs). I’m like 175, 180 pounds. My wingspan, I don’t really know. It’s not as long as I am tall. I haven’t measured in a long time.
PI: For those who aren't familiar with your game, what are your biggest strengths and play style?
BD: I’m trying to model my game a little after Tyler Herro, right now. I want to be more of a guy that can handle the ball, not just shoot. Obviously my strength right now would probably be the shot, that’s my trademark, but I’m trying to work on other aspects of my game. My defense isn’t very good right now, so I’m trying to work on that. I’m just trying to develop my combo guard skills. I’m looking more like a wing right now as a guy who catches-and-shoots. Catch the ball in the post and score. I need to learn how to take people off the dribble. That’s what I’m working on the most so that’s what I’m trying to build.
PI: Do you have a training regimen when you get into the gym?
BD: Yeah, really my dad…I give all the credit to my dad. I’ve worked out with nobody else. He’s built my shot to what it is today. My workouts now are not-so-much shot heavy. It’s more just all the hard defensive slides and then shoot when you’re tired. A lot of quick two-bounce dribble moves, just stuff like that. Just trying to develop that game. A typical day would probably be a workout with him and I’d probably get a practice in with the team or a weight room session and I’d go home and get a little jumping exercise, not an exercise but a workout with a guy that’s supposed to help your speed and quickness. For me to be a combo, I need to be quicker and faster and stronger so I’m working with him too so I’ve got a lot of stuff going on.
PI: What are your short term goals this season?
BD: You know, I like goals but I also don’t like goals. I feel like goals put a lot of pressure on you. I want to play free and relax. Obviously, my main goal this year would probably be to win a state championship. I don’t really set individual goals for myself. I have in the past and it kind of weighs me down because you play a bad game and then you’re like “ah shoot, I’m not going to get that goal.” I don’t really worry too much about the individual stuff. I worry about the team stuff and my main thing is to win a state championship — an Open Championship for Coach Rebibo and the staff here.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
BD: Geez, that’s a hard question. My life is a lot of basketball. I’m just a sports guy so I love going to the football games at my school and just being in the student section and hanging with those guys and just going crazy for my other players that play football. I love hanging out with my friends, playing 2K and all that good stuff. Those would probably be my main things, just hanging out with friends. I don’t really have much of a social life. I hate to say that, but I don’t have much time on my hands. Probably just hanging out with my friends when I can, fantasy football right now and all that stuff.
PI: What team do you use on 2K?
BD: Ah you know, it depends on what I’m going for. If we’re going all-time teams, I’m kind of that guy who uses the Lakers. I’m not really good at 2K, I can’t lie. I don’t play that often. Probably the Lakers. That’s a tough question...I like the Phoenix Suns because I like Devin Booker. I like him coming off screens. I like the Kobe type of stuff too with the Lakers. That’s my player on 2K. I just have fun, though. I’m not really good. I can’t lie to you.
PI: What’s your recruitment update? Who are you hearing from the most lately?
BD: So my last two offers were Minnesota and Xavier. I’m hearing from Xavier the most. Coach Jonas Hayes is recruiting me pretty heavily. Minnesota is recruiting me pretty heavily. Kansas has called a few times. Pepperdine is recruiting me hard. Stanford and Cal here and there [as well]. TCU, I talked to them a few days ago. It’s starting to pick up as I’m starting to get seen more. Last year I missed Peach Jam because I got sick. So I’m trying to get my name out there to get more coaches on me.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
BD: I mean I grew up in the ACC in NC State and I love the passion with sports so I just want to be at a place that really wants to win. It needs to be extremely important to win. That’s my main thing. The coaching staff, it meant so much to them like you’d lose a game and cry. That’s what I want in a program. The coaching staff is really important to me. I need a relationship with the head coach. Besides that, education obviously, to set up my future. I’m just really listening to my dad. He’s my rock. He built me since I was very young so I listen a lot to whatever he says. He knows the game. He’s pointed out things that have happened that he thought were kind of fraudulent. I’m cool with it so I listen to him.
PI: You have some ink on your left arm, what do those tattoos mean to you?
BD: Well first, I got ‘sacrifice’ on my left forearm because there’s a lot of kids in my grade who would go to a lot of parties and try to drink, smoke, and do all that. I’ve never drank. I’ve never smoked. I never try and do anything ‘fun’ of this generation that they all say. I’ve been to like two parties my entire life. I really just want to focus on basketball. I’m sacrificing that aspect of my life to really become a better basketball player. ‘FD’ stands for ‘For Dad’ because I feel like my dad throughout his career, he’s been an assistant coach and I believe he’s deserved the spot as a head coach. I think some things have happened where he’s gotten extremely unlucky. I just want to work super hard just to prove how good of a coach he is because he’s trained me and the success I get, it correlates to him for everything he’s done for me. So that’s why I got ‘FD’ and ‘sacrifice’ on my arm.
PI: What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
BD: It goes back to sacrifice. My dad and Mo Williams, he played on the Cavaliers. He was a big time player. He sat me down and said “every guy he saw was a star in the league or made it to the league in general always sacrificed one thing in their life whether it was a girlfriend, whether it was parties, whether it was a whole lot of different things.” And that was probably my biggest— like I started to sacrifice around my eighth grade and freshman year when I really wanted to become a good player so I bet you that was my biggest piece of advice and I’ve taken that to heart the most. It’s just to sacrifice the little things so I can have a lot of fun when I’m older and I’m accomplished and all that stuff.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for as a player and as a person?
BD: I just want to be remembered as a hard worker and a winner. I want to win and I want to be the hardest worker on my team. I want to do everything possible to win. Like right now, there’s a lot more things that go into basketball than just the workouts and the lifting. I meditate in the mornings to try and get my mind right. I just want to be known as a really devoted athlete, a really devoted player that really loved the game and tried to get everything that he could to win and compete.