NC State senior Torin Dorn to play last home game
NC State fifth-year senior forward Torin Dorn knows that when he steps on the PNC Arena floor for the last time at 9 p.m. Wednesday, he’s amassed a vast amount of college experiences.
The Wolfpack’s ability to incorporate Dorn’s versatility has helped him averaged 13.9 points per game the last two years. He’s also averaging a career-high 6.9 rebounds this season, and has six double-doubles for points and boards.
The Charlotte native has had an unusual but successful career. What he wants most is the chance to play in the NCAA Tournament for a second time.
“It’s bittersweet because there are so many memories there,” Dorn said. “Leaving is going to be tough, but it will be sweet because it is the end of this chapter and I’m headed to another one.”
Dorn figures he’ll have about a dozen people coming to watch his Senior Night against Georgia Tech. He already is predicting his mother to shed tears in the pregame ceremony, but then left the door open that he could get emotional too.
“She is going to be a mess tomorrow,” Dorn said. "I'm going to try and hold it in. It's going to be emotional. At the end of the day, we have a job to do and we have to win this game. It's big for us."
The 96-85 win over then No. 2-ranked Duke on Jan. 6, 2018, is Dorn’s favorite win at PNC Arena. He had 16 points in the victory and will always remember the fans reaction when the clock hit zero.
“The fans storming the court is probably my favorite memory at PNC,” Dorn said.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder played for two coaches his freshman year at Charlotte and another two coaches during his three years at NC State. Each left some sort of mark in the molding of Dorn's game and also his character as a person.
The veteran has known good times and some tough struggles, but both have made him a better individual who can be resilient and roll with the punches.
“I’m thankful for all the adversity that I’ve faced,” Dorn said. “I was on teams that didn’t do as well as they should have, and learning from those experiences — they are invaluable lessons you can take in life. I’m thankful for the fans and the opportunities NC State has opened for me.”
Dorn has always been interested in the media realm, and could be in front of a camera or behind one when his basketball career is over. Being covered by the media has given him a unique perspective if that is the path he takes.
“I love to be in front of the camera, but at the same time I love to tell other peoples' stories in a unique way,” Dorn said. “State has a lot different curriculums and a lot of professors who teach a lot of different things.
“I like documentary-style filmmaking, whether it be sports with 30 For 30 style, or cultured events.”
During his time in college, some players shy away from competition, but Dorn wasn’t one of them. He picked NC State over Miami, among others, when the Wolfpack already had wings Cody Martin, Caleb Martin, Terry Henderson and Maverick Rowan in the program. The twins left for Nevada after Dorn’s redshirt season, and Rowan eventually departed to play professional basketball after the 2016-2017 season.
“My dad [Torin Dorn Sr.] was on a call with one of the recruiting coaches here and he was telling my dad about all the wings they had,” Dorn said. “My dad stopped him mid-sentence and said ‘Torin isn’t worried about anybody else. When Torin gets there, he’ll work his tail off and prove his worth.’
"I always brought that hard-hat mentality with me.”
Dorn chuckled when thinking about some of the great and funny teammates he’s had during his four years at NC State.
“We can start with Cat Barber, who is probably my most freshest teammate I’ve ever had,” Dorn said. “BeeJay Anya has the gift of gab and can talk his way in and out of anything.
“Malik Abu … he’s a basketball player/rapper, so he’s a talented dude. Sam Hunt also has the gift of gab and is probably the best shooter I’ve played with. Dennis Smith is probably the most talented guy I’ve played with. The twins are hilarious and so many people like Lennard [Freeman], Markell [Johnson] and guys on this year’s team [are too]. Eric Lockett, he’s going to be one of my friends forever.”
Dorn has played his best ball the last two years under head coach Kevin Keatts. Few players have the perspective of what it’s like to be a college basketball coach better than Dorn after having four of them.
“It’s somebody that demands excellence,” Dorn said.