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.

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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.”

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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.

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