Dahlman’s work pays off for Wofford
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Someone in Braham, Minn., is about to have houseguests.
Wofford junior forward Noah Dahlman’s parents, Nathan and Kathy, will find some way to watch their son’s first-round game against Wisconsin on Friday, but it won’t be at their farm in Braham.
The Dahlman house in Braham, a town otherwise known as the “Homemade Pie Capital of Minnesota,” hasn’t had a TV in several years. And don’t even bother asking about the Internet.
“We had the TV throughout high school, but it broke and [my dad] never wanted to fix it,” Noah Dahlman said. “He wanted the children to read and play board games. That’s my dad.”
The Southern Conference Player of the Year, Dahlman is embracing the Southern life now. But he doesn’t run from his roots. His identity as a sub-6-foot-6 post player was forged in Braham, which is about an hour and a half north of the Twin Cities.
Wofford teammates Cameron Rundles and Jamar Diggs, both from Minneapolis, visited Braham during high school to play against Dahlman and his brother Isaiah, who plays at Michigan State. The Minneapolis duo eventually joined Dahlman at Wofford after transfers.
“There was something about the Dahlman brothers,” Rundles said. “They worked a little harder than everyone else.”
That extends to summer jobs, too. Dahlman works with the Wofford athletic grounds crew, which tends to fields and locker rooms when the Carolina Panthers hold training camp on campus. Dahlman cuts the grass on the practice fields and vacuums and picks up trash in the locker room. Compared to surviving winters in Braham, mowing the lawn in Spartanburg, S.C., in the August heat isn’t quite so bad.
“It’s pretty similar to my work on the court – nothing pretty, get it done,” Dahlman said.
Dahlman will need to do everything he can against Wisconsin. The Badgers have a healthy Jon Leuer, who is 6-10, in the lineup, and also have 6-8 forward Keaton Nankivil to try to neutralize Dahlman.
“I’ve had a couple [post players] like that,” Badgers coach Bo Ryan said of Dahlman. “He does the most with what he has, and any time you have a player like that, you know you can ride him.”
Wofford played two Big Ten teams earlier this season – Illinois and Michigan State – and lost both by double-digits. Dahlman scored 13 points against Illinois and 19 against Michigan State. But he struggled on the boards and grabbed only six total rebounds in the two games.
For Wofford to upset Wisconsin, the Terriers need Dahlman to put up bigger numbers than that. If he doesn’t, it won’t be for a lack of effort. His background won’t allow it.
“We recently got a grocery store in town. That’s the big news,” Dahlman said. “Still no stoplight. We’re trying to move up in the world.”
A Wofford win might not bring a traffic signal to Braham, but it could result in the sale of one TV by Sunday.