By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TV

HOPKINTON (CBS) — He’s just 17 years old, but Barrett Hanlon has learned a lot about life so far.

“No matter what you are doing, you always have to give it your all,” he says.

It’s why the star basketball player from Hopkinton High School has done so well lately on the court. The point guard and his team will take to the TD Garden floor Tuesday night to play in the state semi finals. And Hanlon credits his dad.

Hanlon says, “He taught me mind over matter. If something goes wrong, keep going to the basket and keep shooting.”

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports.

Dan Hanlon loved basketball. He taught his kids how to play and he coached them. He was even playing with his son in November, just hours before he collapsed and died of a heart attack.

Maggie Hanlon, Barrett’s mother and Dan’s wife, said, “It’s certainly a struggle and it’s hard, but God is with us.”

It’s been hard on the entire family, so Barrett’s team decided to rally for Dan. His final words to his kids: to keep shooting.

Hopkinton athletic director Eric Karjel says, “The whole community has come around this. The team has dedicated the season to his father.”

Now with Dan in their hearts, the team is on fire and tearing through the state tournament.

Maggie says, “It’s awesome they can see beyond everyday teenage life and dedicate it to Dan.”

A touching tribute that’s not only powering a team, but inspiring a family to never give up.

Barrett says, “Never lose faith, just keep going, no matter what happens, keep going.”

Comments (7)
  1. Will says:

    Nicest family I have ever met in my life, and clearly the strongest as well. Playing with Barrett this season has been absolutely incredible and there are truly not enough quality words to describe him. We played for you, Mr. Hanlon, every single second.

    1. Maggie Hanlon and kids says:

      The young men on this team have touch our hearts and lives in ways that mere words can never convey. Your character, selflessness and love for our family and each other has made such an unforgettable impact on our lives. We witnessed first hand that great joy and love can be experienced even in times of sadness. This season was a thing of beauty inspired by God, Dan and the most beautiful gift of each and everyone of you!. Thank you for your kind hearts, we love you guys!!

  2. Nancy Cindric says:

    We have followed your amazing season via text, email and many phone calls all the way from Seattle! B we are so proud of the young man you are on and off the court. You have wonderful sisters and a Mom with amazing strength and grace. God has surrounded you with the best friends and teammates to help carry you through this difficult time. Dan the Man is dancing in Heaven so proud of all of you!
    Love you all so much!

    Jeremiah 29:11

  3. Teri Kopil says:

    I was privileged to go to high school with Dan, and witnessed first hand what an inspiration he was to others. He was the perfect example that even if you weren’t the tallest, or the most athletic, that with a strong will and determination, you could still be a winner. It’s nice to see that his positive attitude and generous spirit, are being carried on through his son. Good luck to Hopkinton and Barrett,

  4. Steph Hanlon Santa says:

    Beautiful article and tribute to my beloved Brother Dan and his amazing family. Thank you to the entire Boston community – all the friends , teammates, coaches etc who have been so loving and compassionate to Maggie, Barrett , Jenna and Morgan during this difficult time. They are the most amazing family and we are so very proud of them. The Hanlon children are so very blessed to have had Dan as their father. He loved them and inspired them in so many ways. Maggie has been the most loving mother, with Faith and strength like no other. She is a gracious Warrior. I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and inspiration from ALL OF YOU . Thank you for letting the wonderful memories of our Beloved DAN THE MAN live on and for capturing the talents and character of my nephew Barrett. He is a SHINING STAR on and off the court! Like FATHER, like SON!

  5. Liana Schaefer says:

    I was Priviledge to be a extension of their family in Cincinnati. I was their in~ home day care provider, A AMAZING family, Miss them Love Them Think of them often. Heartbreaking.

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