Dylan Griffin Followed in His Brother’s Footsteps to Become a Dolphin
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
When playoff seedings for the City Section boys basketball playoffs were released back in February, Palisades High senior guard Dylan Griffin remembers shaking his head in disgust: “I saw we were fifth in DI and knew we were better than that. We wanted to prove it.”
Of course, the Dolphins became a team of destiny by winning their first City title in 51 years, but it might never have come to be if not for a gut decision Griffin made some years earlier.
“My oldest brother Franklin played basketball at Whitney Young High in Chicago where I was born and their school mascot was the Dolphins,” recalls Griffin, who lives in Mid-City. “So when my older brother Justin played for Hamilton here in L.A. I’d attend the games. One time they were playing Palisades and I noticed their uniform had the word ‘Dolphins,’ so me wanting to be like my oldest brother I told my mom that’s where I wanted to go.”
Fast-forward to eighth grade when Griffin ended up developing a strong relationship with Pali High assistant coaches Matt Jackson and Darren Morrison through AAU ball and knew a few upperclassmen at Palisades, all of whom had good things to say. That convinced him to become a Dolphin, he made varsity as a freshman (along with fellow guard Anthony Spencer) and became an integral part of the program.
“Our guards this year were tough as nails and Dylan was the pit bull of the bunch,” Coach Donzell Hayes says. “He hounds ball handlers and he’s fearless and aggressive. He was the heart and soul of the team.”
Griffin hit one of the biggest shots of the season—a halfcourt heave at the buzzer that gave the Dolphins the lead at halftime in the SoCal Regional playoffs against San Ysidro—a game they went on to win.
Franklin played for one semester at Seton Hall before moving back closer to home while Justin, who won Division III and Division II titles at Hamilton, didn’t play basketball in college. Dylan played football, baseball and soccer growing up but loves basketball most and wants to keep playing at the next level: “I haven’t decided where I want to go yet but I’ll mostly likely be taking the juco [community college] route.”
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