Prep Basketball

A passion for basketball

HS journalism: North Linn junior explains why he does what he does

North Linn's Dylan Kurt (22) takes a shot over West Sioux's Hunter Dekkers (25) during the first quarter of a Class 2A s
North Linn’s Dylan Kurt (22) takes a shot over West Sioux’s Hunter Dekkers (25) during the first quarter of a Class 2A state quarterfinal game at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines in March 9. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Editor’s note: Dylan Kurt is a junior at North Linn High School, looking forward to another basketball season. This is his final story as our high school journalism intern through Kirkwood’s Workplace Learning Center.

By Dylan Kurt, North Linn junior

Why do I do what I do?

I play basketball because I enjoy it. I enjoy the process, the grind and the highs and lows.

I love the feeling of exhaustion after a good workout or game. I love chasing after a state championship. I don’t mind staying in a hotel for a week with your best friends, going out to eat for every meal and always preparing for the next game. And the strawberry smoothies at the state tournament, too.

My parents put me in a position to succeed. So I try to do that. My coaches put in a ton of time and effort, so I try my very best to match that same time and effort.

I love proving people wrong and when I hear North Linn won’t be any good this season, I know it’s time we prove them wrong.

It can get tough, hard and, yes, I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, but I’ve stuck through it and can’t be more excited for this upcoming season.

The hardest thing was losing the state title game last year. I think about it everyday. All the time. It’s a little extra motivation whenever I workout. I don’t want to fall just short again. I still don’t know what I was more upset about, losing the game or knowing our program would be losing three incredible seniors — Austin Miller, Parker Bechen, and my brother, Jacob Kurt.

Why do I do what I do?

I do it to get better.

During the start of the first quarantine, my dad, Karl Kurt, helped create a workout plan. Every day I had everything I had to do listed out for me. I was putting in around five hours a day. I was getting stronger, quicker, improving my ball handling and shooting.

Now, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I have open gym at 6 a.m. So, this means, wake up at 4:30, complete an abdominal workout or two, complete my hip stretches and quad strengthening exercises, get ready and leave. We scrimmage for about an hour — and it is very competitive. Then we get in a lift and wipe down our weights and benches.

After this Austin Hilmer and I get in a shooting workout. Then I drink a protein shake and ice my knee.

During the season I take notes on every game, looking at myself trying to see if there’s anything I can do to improve. And, yes, I’ve come to find there usually is ... a lot.

Why do I do what I do?

Because of what I’m looking forward to.

I’m looking forward to chasing a state title with my best friends. I’m looking forward to the bus rides, early mornings and late nights. I’m looking forward to the detailed game plans and the practices.

I can’t wait for that game day feeling, dressing up and always looking the best on the team. I look forward to my teammates razing me about my game day post on Instagram. I look forward to the team meals that everyone’s parents provide. I look forward to the race of the conference title knowing there are a ton of really good teams.

I look forward to the big crowds and unlimited support athletes at North Linn receive. I look forward to the win-or-go-home in the postseason, knowing you have to appreciate it while it lasts, knowing it can be over just like that.

I look forward to constantly checking Doug Shaffer’s Facebook, always looking to see if he got any good pictures, which he always does. He and his wife, Janelle, do a great job. I look forward to hanging out on the court, talking to family and friends, waiting for the concession stands to give out free food.

I look forward to the Casey’s runs and getting french fries from the Troy Store before games. I look forward to the late nights at the Hilmer’s after games. I look forward to getting yelled at by coaches and most likely teammates, too. I look forward to watching film with coaches.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

I look forward to always trying to be the best version of myself as a teammate, athlete, friend and person.

I’m telling you this because this is my passion, this is my life and I enjoy every bit of it. I want to have a basketball season, I’m not sure what’d I do without it.

I’m afraid I’ll miss out on all of that, so please wear a mask.

This is why I do what I do.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.