Gunner Morinini isn’t like most like most nine-year-old his age. He already has a job, serving as St. Joseph High School’s water boy for the basketball team.
In football, there is a term called the 12th man, referring to a fan who has a potentially helpful role in a game. Gunner is the Knight’s 6th man.
Morinini has plenty of responsibilities as water boy.
"I get the water ready for people who come out and for time-outs. I also get the balls for half-time and before the game. I put the balls away and I wipe water off the court when there’s water," said Gunner Morinini, St. Joseph’s water boy.
Mornini is more than just a kid with duties, he’s the Knight’s 6th man. He was a walk-on two years ago when the assistant coach saw an opportunity.
"One of the assistant coaches saw Gunner in the stands and it looked like he wanted to be part of the team. He invited him down to the bench, saw that he did a great job, and he’s been asked back ever since," said Tom Mott, Knight’s head basketball coach and Athletic Director.
Besides Gunner mastering his water boy craft, he is a fan, a referee, a teammate, and a boy who loves basketball.
You can see his enthusiasm for every game. "I had some exciting moments and I had some pretty mad moments. It’s just a part of me that I have lots of excitement," said Morinini.
Despite being just a kid, Morinini never distracts the team or takes his focus away from the game. "Sometimes you get an eight, nine-year-old kid out there and they might be in never-never land half the time and not know what’s going on, but never once do I look down and see Gunner thinking about anything else than basketball," said Mott.
Gunner’s older brother is 17-year-old senior, Connor Morinini who just finished his last basketball season for the Knights. Gunner is dribbling in his brother’s footsteps while living up to his own name as water boy.
"Do as much as I can as possible," said Morinini.