words Michael Bradley | image Ron Haw
Listen to the story of how Dennis Tinnon made it to Marshall University, and you won’t believe it. It involves high school trouble, two junior colleges, a meat packing plant and a wedding ring. Oh, and lots of rebounding. It’s a tale of adversity and determination, and it’s almost unbelievable.
“Even if I could have recorded every day of my life since I was 14, I would still ask, How in the hell did I get here?” Tinnon says. “I’m not sure.”
The story begins in Milwaukee but doesn’t stay there long. In ’04, Tinnon’s mother moved him and his four siblings from Brew Town to Green Bay, and the 14-year-old didn’t like it. “I wanted to stay in Milwaukee and play basketball,” he says. When school started, Tinnon didn’t go. That became a refrain throughout his high school years. Tinnon was kicked out twice. There were scrapes with the law. Somehow he graduated and impressed the coach at Williston State College in North Dakota.
He lasted three weeks.