Practice is over. Players have started to file out. They’ve made their 50 free throws that they’re instructed to make before they can leave, and head for the exit. The once hectic gym is now calm, but a player remains after each basketball practice, and that’s Glen Dean.
Idaho Director of Player Development Milt Palacio said that Dean is always the first to arrive and the last to leave.
“He’s an extremely hard worker,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “He’s got a real competitive nature, he competes everyday in practice and has really worked hard to be the best player he could possibly be.”
If there is one thing you should know about the senior from Seattle, it’s that he loves playing basketball.
Logging some heavy minutes to start off the season, you would think he would look to rest in his free time. That isn’t the case for Dean.
“He’ll still throw the ball at me and say check up,” said Palacio, a former NBA player and currently Dean’s favorite one-on-one opponent.
As for who is winning, there are conflicting reports as each claim they have the lead. However, Palacio got the best of Dean, most recently.
“Last time we played, I blocked his shot on one end, dribbled down the court, went around the back, he reached and I scored the layup,” Palacio said. “I always let him know about how I created a highlight film on him.”
Despite the conflicting reports on who is winning the series, Dean does admit this “highlight film” actually happened.
“Okay I’ll give him that one, he got me in practice, okay yeah, whatever,” Dean said. “Ask him how many times I shut him out, I’m still up in the series and I’m still the black mamba.”
Dean made his way to Idaho from the University of Utah. However, the story doesn’t start there.
Growing up in Seattle, Dean got the opportunity to play for the prestigious AAU select team, Seattle Rotary. He played with the likes of Peyton Siva, who led Louisville to a National Championship last season, and Josh Smith — who was one of the top recruits coming out of high school and is currently playing at Georgetown.
Playing with stars like Siva and Smith, Dean might have been overlooked by a lot of schools, and was only being recruited by small schools. He eventually found a home at Eastern Washington, where he was named the Big Sky Freshman of the Year.
After being a standout at EWU, Dean transferred to Utah, but was forced to redshirt due to some brain complications and had to have surgery.
Dean would end up being a solid contributor for the Utes, but after playing a year there and graduating from the university, he found himself with one more year of eligibility left and was looking for a fresh start.
Due to the NCAA’s “five-year rule”, if a player who graduates before his four years of eligibility are up, they can transfer to a school without having to sit out a year.
During his whole time at Utah, Dean kept in close contact with Kirk Earlywine, who is currently an assistant here at Idaho, but was a his coach at EWU.
“I credit coach Earlywine for making me into the man I am today,” Dean said. “My first year at Eastern Washington, he made me grow up fast and put a lot of responsibility on me, but it helped me become mature and become a better leader.”
The Vandals had just landed Dean’s brother, Perrion Callandret, and after the Vandals coaching staff received Callandret’s commitment, coach Earlywine gave Dean a call.
“I thought it was best I come here and finish out my last year with my brother, coach Earlywine and coach Verlin,” Dean said. “I wanted to just be somewhere comfortable, and the opportunity to just play with my younger brother, regardless if it was five minutes or 30, was just something I couldn’t pass up. ”
Callandret didn’t know he would end up playing college basketball with his brother.
“It was kind of unexpected, he asked me one day if I felt comfortable with him coming,” Callandret said. “Of course I said yeah, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to play with their older brother.”
Callandret can often be found with Dean, getting in extra work before and after practice.
“He pushes me, and holds me to a higher standard,” Callandret said. “He probably holds me to a higher standard then what I hold myself to, most of the time.”
The two finally get to spend some time together, time that they haven’t been able to get in the past, due to Dean being gone at college the past few years. They also get to resume their constant one-on-one game they’ve enjoyed playing growing up.
“We got a competition going on, ever since I can remember,” Callandret said, who beat Dean for the first time this summer. “He always brings up all the other games, but he doesn’t put into consideration on how much older he is. He’s not going to win anymore though.”
Off the court, Dean is just like any other college student, just trying to enjoy himself as much as possible whether it’s blasting music in his apartment, or just trying to make people laugh.
“I’m just trying to smile, as much as possible,” Dean said.
On the court, however, Dean is a competitor and a leader who is always striving to get better. It could be tough to transfer to a new school and be a leader right away, but Dean has done just that.
“He brings leadership, he’s a guy with a ton of experience,” Verlin said. “He knew a lot of these guys before he got here, so I just think the leadership role was a natural fit for him and he’s done a good job of it.”
After he is done with college, Dean would love to continue his playing career, and if that doesn’t work out, he wants to peruse a coaching career.
But for now, Dean and the Vandals are in pursuit of a 2014 WAC title. The Vandals are currently 4-6 but the schedule will be easier once WAC play starts.
Korbin McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org