When Malden Catholic High School basketball coach Jim Silvio took over the program last season, he said he wanted to bring his own coaching style to the job. That is, Silvio wanted athletes who were going to work hard every day in practice, dedicate themselves to the team concept, lead by example on and off the court, and go all out on every play in every game.
Silvio quickly found out that he already had at least one player of that makeup in Dan Dawley of Revere. And after one season of watching Dawley distinguish himself with his hustle, determination, and versatility, Silvio rewarded the Revere senior with the honor of being a team captain this winter.
“Dan has showed me so much character,” said Silvio. “He comes every day to practice and works so hard. He’s prepared every day. Nobody hits the floor more than he does – whether it’s for a loose ball, going hard to the basket for a rebound, or covering the opposing team’s best player. He’s done a tremendous job for us as a captain.”
As important as the intangibles are, a player has to have good, old-fashioned talent to be a starter for Malden Catholic whose conference includes recent Division 1 and Division 2 state champions in BC High and Catholic Memorial.
A lanky 5-foot-11, Dawley is a speedy guard who can hit the 3-pointer and fill up a stat sheet, according to Silvio.
“Every night, he’s giving us points (10 ppg), rebounds, assists, steals, and deflections – he’s always involved in the offense and defense,” said Silvio. “He plays real hard and makes good decisions with the basketball. And what I love about him is that he never complains.”
Silvio sometimes jests with the handsome senior about his throwback game and 70’s style haircut, a la former LSU collegiate superstar Pete Maravich.
“He’s an absolute lunch pail, throwback player in my mind and he has the hairdo to go with it,” said Silvio. “He bring intensity to the team every night and he’s a joy to have on the team. We have five freshmen on this team and he’s reached out to them and helps them out every day by taking to them at practice.”
Dan Dawley has always loved playing sports, an affinity likely influenced by his father, Brian, a former football player for Pope John XXIII High School, and his mother, Mariellen, a former Pope John cheerleader. His two older brothers, Pat (baseball and football) and Dave, a former Catholic Conference All-Star basketball player and Merrimack College lacrosse player, also excelled in sports for Malden Catholic.
His father’s sister, Sharon Dawley, was one of Pope John XXIII High School’s greatest athletes ever and is currently the women’s basketball coach at Division 1 University of Vermont. “My aunt [Sharon] helped me a lot in basketball when I was little. I’ve also worked at the Vermont basketball camp with her and I’ve attended several Vermont games,”
said Dan, whose grandparents, David and Ginger Dawley, are regulars at all MC basketball games.
Dawley played basketball in the Immaculate Conception Parish League and the city league at the Lincoln School, and for the Beachmont middle school team. He played baseball in the St. Mary’s Cal Ripken League, football in Revere Pop Warner, and took up lacrosse at Malden Catholic where he is a member of the varsity team.
Dawley became a starting player for the MC varsity hoop team as a junior. He was appointed one of the Lancer captains prior to this season.
“It felt pretty good to be named a captain,” said Dawley. “I always prided myself on working really hard and stepping up at practice.”
He said the MC coaching staff has built up the team’s chemistry and they’re instilling a lot of pride in the basketball program.
“Coach Silvio will really push you as hard as he can to reach your potential and he’s a great coach,” said Dawley. “And [assistant varsity coach] Brian Tobin is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. I’ve had a great experience playing basketball at MC.”
A good student, Dawley is considering UMass/Amherst, University of New Hampshire, and UMass/Dartmouth. He is close to committing to UMass/Dartmouth where he would continue his lacrosse career and might try out for the basketball team.
The MC basketball team is 3-3 with two wins over Billerica and a win over previously undefeated Medford. Because MC is in Division 2, it can qualify by winning two of three games against divisional opponents Gloucester (twice) and Masconomet – or by posting a .500 record or better for the season. And coming out of the super-tough Catholic Conference, Dan Dawley and his MC team would be a tough foe in the State Tournament.