TYNGSBORO -- Gbah Dualu has done plenty of legacy-leaving during his varsity basketball career at Greater Lowell Tech.
A multi-talented senior guard, Dualu has been cast in a leading role in the Gryphons' march to a Central Mass. Division 3 semifinal matchup against Auburn Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at WPI.
Dualu's ever-expanding basketball resume is quite impressive. He was named the Co-Most Valuable Player of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Large School Division this season after leading Greater Lowell (19-5) to the league title. Dualu then helped the Gryphons win the State Vocational School championship.
And this past Sunday, he scored the winning basket with just over two seconds left to play, on a drive through traffic to the basket, that lifted Greater Lowell to a 58-56 victory over Northbridge in the first round of the MIAA Tournament.
So what has been his biggest highlight so far?
"It's been a great season," said Dualu. "There have been a lot of highlights. But I really I can't single one out yet. Each game we play is bigger than the next. As long as we keep playing hard as a team, I'm hoping there will be more big moments to come."
Dualu stands 5-foot-5 and weighs 165 pounds, but he is fearless on the court. He is extremely strong for his size and possesses a thunderous first step, which he relies on to blow past defenders while attacking the basket.
This season, Dualu averaged 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals a game. He creates lots of havoc on defense, coming up with 8 steals in the State Vocational title game victory over Greater New Bedford.
"He's meant a lot to our success," said Greater Lowell coach Joe Kane. "All the kids love him. He's always positive. He brings a ton of energy. He works hard, but he also likes to have fun. In and out of school he's a nice kid. He has that smile and personality that draws people to him.
"He's very humble. He's very much a team guy. He deserves any awards or notoriety that come his way. He has done all the things he needed to do to become a great player."
Dualu, whose parents are from Libera, moved to Lowell from Fall River with his family when he was six. He played varsity soccer for the first time last fall, and scored 10 goals, earning a spot on the CAC all-star team. Dualu is a sprinter on Greater Lowell's spring track team, running a leg on a record-setting relay team.
Since the start of this most memorable of basketball seasons, he has been at his best when it mattered most. Dualu not only scored the winning basket against Northbridge, he came up with an incredible momentum changing blocked shot with just over a minute left to play that kept the Gryphons in the game.
"He is as athletic a kid as I've ever coached," said Kane. "He's also probably one of the fastest kids I've ever coached. He's only 5-foot-5, but he can jump through the roof. Against Northbridge, he came out of nowhere to block a shot. It was unbelievable.
"He was probably five feet away and jumped straight up and blocked the shot. It wasn't like he was close to the kid shooting. He just knew where the ball was going and timed it. Very rarely do you see a kid do that. It not only was a great play, it was a game-changing play."
Dualu is a team-oriented player, who is quick to point out the important role his teammates have played in his and the Gryphons' success his winter. Senior Jayson Colon, a CAC All-Conference selection who averages 11 points a game, and junior, Angelo Pilato, a CAC All-Star who averages 9 points per game, have also helped lead the way.
"The past couple years we had great teams but we really didn't put it together." said Dualu. "We lost a lot of close games and these are games that we're winning this year. It's a team thing with us. No one person has been responsible for the run we're on. We're winning because we play well as a team."
Dualu hasn't finalized his college plans, but he hopes to play basketball at the next level.
"He might not be the traditional start off and go to college right away kid, but he'll go somewhere and play," said Kane. "He's a diamond in the rough. Someone is going get him and say, 'Wow! I can't believe nobody ever picked this kid up.' People are starting to see what he can do and how well he performs in these big games. He's just a great athlete and basketball player."
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