Ryerson, I have a confession to make. I finally did it for the first time.
Going in, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. What was it going to feel like? Was I going to be judged on my performance? Should I have gotten drunk beforehand?
Like most people, I barely lasted the whole time and to be honest, I’m pretty surprised that it happened at all. But, alas, I finally attended a Ryerson Rams varsity team tryout.
Before I attended the men’s basketball team tryout, I met with head coach Roy Rana to warn him not to call an ambulance if I unexpectedly passed out on the court. Before I left, I asked him about what he looks for in a walk-on player.
“Someone who has mental and physical toughness, a shooter who can do more than just shoot, and someone with good size,” he said.
“What do you think are my chances of making the team,” I asked.
“If you had come in from the offseason in better shape, then maybe [you’d have a good chance],” he said with a grin on his face. “But, as of right now, they are slim.”
Mental and physical toughness:
After a quick shoot-around, Rana tells fifth-year forward Luke Staniscia to get everyone lined up on the sideline and lead us in stretching. After enduring 15 minutes of the most grueling stretching I’ve ever done, I bent over forward and put my hands on my kneecaps to catch my breath.
“Wait until the next part of our warm-up,” chuckled back-up point guard Afeworki Gebrekerestos. “This will be fun.”
By some act of God, I managed to make it past the two sets of suicides without throwing up.
A shooter who can do more than just shoot:
Next up were shooting drills. We were all split into six even groups, with my group consisting of me, fifth-year forward Luke Staniscia and three other Ram hopefuls. From this point on, the team not only took part in the rest of the tryout with us, they essentially ran it. The drills seemed simple enough: sprint up to a designated area, catch the ball and score; first team to hit 20 shots doesn’t have to do 20 push-ups. To make a long story short, my team never scored more than eight points, with Staniscia and I hitting most of our team’s shots. Note to the guys in my group: if I’m hitting more shots than you, you have no business trying out. Oh yeah, and we did a total of 180 push-ups.
After completing all of the drills, we took part in a scrimmage with the basketball team. As I trotted on to the hardwood, I realized that I was set to guard second-year forward Jelane Pryce. At six-foot-seven, Price’s eyes lit up when he noticed that a chubby six-foot-tall tall journalist was guarding him. He backed me down every time, and the rest is not even worth talking about.
By the end of the tryout, I was sore, tired, and I’d lost feeling in my left foot. As I took off my shoes and prepared to leave the gym with the intention to overdose on Gatorade, I walked by Staniscia.
“Nice job,” he said, as we fist-pumped one another.
Maybe I didn’t completely embarass myself. And who knows, there’s always next year.