By Sean Fitz-Gerald
In coming to play basketball for Ryerson, Sam Gilbert has made the athletic equivalent of a groin pull.
The last time the 23-year-old New York City native laced up his sneakers, he was playing in Pennsylvania for the Lafayette College Leopards in NCAA.
The Leopards played in Division 1, the highest level of amateur basketball played in the United States.
Now, the 6-foot-2 guard will be playing for the less glamorous Ryerson Rams in the Ontario University Athletics’ eastern division.
“It’s more intense in America just because people are a lot hungrier in terms of you have a chance of getting a full scholarship,” he said. “Here, you’re not getting any money and you’re playing strictly for the love [of the game].”
Gilbert last played for the Leopards two years ago, and said he may be a little rusty after all the time off.
He sad he is spending extra time in the weight room to get himself back in shape.
“The love is what brought me back to the game,” he said.
Passion for basketball couldn’t bring a lot of Ryerson veterans back to the team this year.
Only four players from last year’s OUA east division championship team have come back to play this season.
Three players were lost to graduation, two more were let go because of poor grades, and several others wanted to concentrate on academics this year.
This movement means there are a whole lot of new faces in Kerr gym this fall.
Ben Gorham, last year’s OUA east rookie of the year, said the new faces have already made the team more competitive, if only during practices.
“I think this year is a whole new chapter in Ryerson,” he said. “This is how you build a program.”