When players are selected to participate in the Kansas Shrine Bowl, they are required to fill out a questionnaire that asks for a variety of information, including such basics as addresses and phone numbers, e-mail addresses, uniform sizes and the like. It also asks each player to name his favorite sport, and as you might expect, the vast majority list “football” as their sport of choice.
But there are exceptions. Daniel Durbin of Ft. Scott is 6’5”, 289 pounds, ideal for his position, left tackle, that all-important position on any offensive line that protects a quarterback’s “blind side”. Durbin, though, says his favorite sport is basketball, where he’s had success in high school. He plans to continue his hoops career this fall at his hometown community college in Ft. Scott. His Ft. Scott High School Tigers earned a state tournament berth in March, and took home the third place trophy, capping a 20-6 year. Playing center, Durbin averaged just over six points and three rebounds for the Tigers. He expects to play forward or a combo forward-guard on the college level.
Durbin has another distinction among the player’s in this year’s game. He’s had a brush with the Shriners Hospitals for Children, where he was examined at an early age for foot problems. Although he was too young to remember, he says he’s been told that he was born “pigeon toed”, a condition which causes the toes to point inward while walking. He says after diagnosis, his condition was not corrected by surgery; in his case, the condition was self-correcting, which often happens during childhood.
Even with his childhood examination at a Shriners hospital, he admits he didn’t know much about the Kansas Shrine Bowl until he was selected. “It’s a real big honor”, he says. “I didn’t know how big of a deal it was until people around town began saying things like ‘you’re going to be in the Shrine Bowl—that’s huge’!” he says. Durbin becomes only the third player from Ft. Scott to be selected to play in the annual all-star classic, and the first since 2000.
Is football out of his future once the Shrine Bowl is over? Probably, but he’s not closing the door entirely on a possible football career. “I’ll be playing basketball at Ft. Scott, unless somebody sees me in the Shrine Bowl and offers me a football scholarship”, he says. “But the plans are pretty much to go to juco to play basketball.”
Durbin hopes to do well at Ft. Scott, and move on to play hoops in college. Right now, he’s hoping to earn a scholarship at Pittsburg State University, just 30 miles down the road from his hometown. He plans to major in elementary education. He says his interest in working with kids was sparked by doing volunteer work with kindergartners at a local elementary school.
All Shrine Bowl events are produced and presented to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children [SHC]. SHC is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to the age of 18 are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay. The 39th annual Kansas Shrine Bowl will be played Saturday, July 28th, 2012, in Emporia, Kansas, at Welch Stadium on the Emporia State University campus. Kickoff will be at 7:00 pm. Tickets and additional information are available at www.kansasshrinebowl.com or by calling 800-530-5524.