Bleeding blue and gold

Ryerson Men’s basketball forward, Luke Staniscia, reflects on his five-year career as a member of the Rams

As I walked to centre court of Kerr Hall last Saturday night in my last regular season home game, I was overcome with emotion. In spite of all this, the only thing I could think of was something that my teammate, Logan Marrast, said to me earlier that day: “No matter what happens tonight, we will always remember you.”

All of these thoughts about the amazing times I’ve had at Ryerson were all I could think about before the game, but they immediately vanished the moment ball was tossed up for the tip. For the next 38 minutes it felt like just any other game up until the last two minutes.

At this point it was clear that we had won the game, and all of the fans in the gym started chanting my name. In the closing seconds of the game, Jahmal Jones dribbled the ball over to me and let me hold it until the game ended. As the time expired, my teammates rushed the court to give me hugs and congratulate me amidst a sea of cheers from my friends, fans and family. I can easily say this was one of the best moments of my life. I was truly humbled, and so overcome with emotion that I was on the verge of tears. At that exact moment, every sacrifice I’ve ever made for the game of basketball was justified and every doubt I may have ever had about my career vanished.

Although I’m sure I’ll be remembered for ripping down rebounds while screaming at the top of my lungs, I hope that my legacy is one that spans far beyond that.

If I can pass on one piece of advice to any athlete reading this, it would be to cherish every moment of your time here. The time an athlete has to play a sport is limited. Always remember to work your hardest, so that you can retire with no regrets in your heart. My five years at Ryerson have been some of the best of my life. Basketball has truly made my life more enjoyable and has provided me with so many unforgettable experiences.

I want to thank all of my teammates, coaches, fans, friends and family who have been there for me throughout my entire career. A special thanks goes out to my mother Iris, my father Dino, my sister Ilana and to my loving girlfriend Kasandra. A final thanks goes out to my coach Roy Rana, who has taught me so many valuable lessons on and off the court. I would not be the player or person that I am today if it were not for him.

Although most days I wake up so sore that I can barely walk, I wish I had another five years to dedicate to my team. The 2011-12 Rams are easily the most talented group of players I have ever had the pleasure of playing with.

The Ryerson men’s basketball program has come so far since my first season. As sad as I am to leave, I do so with great optimism for the future and with immense pride in the fact that I was a part of an amazing transformation.

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