By Steve Petrick
For Sugar City, Idaho, native Tim Higgins, a chance to come to Ryerson and play basketball with the Rams was a sweet opportunity.
The 19-year-old point guard said he was heavily recruited by NCAA Division I basketball schools such as Oregon State and the University of Oregon. But after breaking his foot at a summer basketball camp, all potential offers were revoked and he was left with nowhere to play.
“This year was going to be a waste,” Higgins said. “I was just going to work out, but then [Ryerson’s coaching staff] called me and said they needed a guard, so I came here. My foot’s better now.”
The Rams began searching for a guard after Alfred McAllister left the team unannounced last semester.
McAllister, after being poked in the eye during the rams’ Nov. 10 game against York, returned to his native town of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He hasn’t returned since.
Higgins arrived in Toronto in December and enrolled in public administration courses.
So far, he has seen little action on the court. Head coach Terry Haggerty didn’t let him play in the Ed DeArmon Memorial tournament held in Kerr gym over the holidays, and Higgins saw little playing time during two regular-season games in Montreal earlier this month on the weekend.
Haggerty said the team picked up the three-point specialist for the long-term impact he’ll have, not as a short-term fix.
“He’s got some good all-round skills,” Haggerty said. “But we’re not looking at this year.”
Recruiting athletes from the U.S., however, hasn’t produced long-term results for the Rams yet. Three American players have come and gone from Ryerson since 1998.
New York City native Sam Gilbert played all of last year with the Rams, helping them to a 17-3 regular-season record. But after the season he left the school to pursue a pro career overseas.
At this year’s preseason training camp, McAllister was joined by Alabama native Carlen Miller. But Miller, formerly of Faulkner State Community College, quit the team before the Rams’ first game.