Negative events such as a car crash and having surgery is hard to handle for a lot of high school players, but when Matt Ryan has things going for him such as getting huge offers and trying to rehab from surgery, that gives him the confidence to get better and work hard and also have a good senior season
A vocal leader, sharpshooter, defender, and a high-major recruit in the 2015 class. Matt Ryan, a 17 year old attending Iona Preparatory college, has high expectations for himself despite being a regular teenager. Ryan is being recruited some big time colleges such as UNC, Georgetown, Duke, and Boston College. A leader on the court and a good kid off the court, but there is some things that has transpired that made him take a step back and let him see what is right in front of him.
People from the outside looking in thins that everything is going on and he's living a good life, but he has a story and some events that has transpired in life really made him take a step back and see what is in front. It's just like when a star player in the league gets injured and when they come back they have a different view on things and notice some things that they didn't know while they're on the floor. It has been positive events that took place and negative events that have taken place in life that made him stop and think.
In September 2013, a car accident stopped Ryan in his tracks. Ryan described it to BECB as "scary." Everyone who has been in a car accident can relate to what it was like, but for him it happened as a teenager and it may have been an different experience since he was only 16 when it happened. Ryan told BECB "that car accident in September really opened my eyes on life and to be grateful for everything."
The life-changing event really made him see how important basketball is important to him. As a junior, Ryan is really enjoying his life as a teenager. Ryan was having a phenomenal junior season before he tore his labrum. When having a season like he was having, it's kind of sad, but for a lot of people who play sports, they use the motto or mantra "a small setback for a major comeback." Ryan talked about how this surgery made him realize how much he needs basketball.
"This surgery really makes me realize how much I need basketball in my life," said Ryan. "I've grown up with it and it's such a huge part of my life and it's scary."
Moments in his life really have changed him and made him take a step back and look at what he has as a person and a basketball player. People have had those times in life where they're grateful for what they've got. As for Ryan, he is just taking a step back. BECB asked Ryan has he ever had any tough times on the court or off the court that made him realize how grateful he is.
"I think everybody has those instances in their life that makes them step back and take in everything that's going on in their life," Ryan said. "I mentioned the car accident and this injury as a major events in my life, but there have been really positive events in that I wasn't in danger or I just was experiencing some dreams of mine taking place before my eyes. I worked hard my whole life to get a college scholarship and I started finding extremely high major attention and I would cry for happiness after getting off the phone with some coaches. I couldn't believe what was happening."
Ryan has encountered positives and negatives points in his life as he said and those events has helped him on the court and off the court. Those events have shaped him into a better person because when you go through what he has went through from September through March. During that time period, Ryan was a in a car crash, he was having a phenomenal season, and he had surgery. Those events are really life changing. Events that happen to someone as a teenager can really change some teenagers’ lives, but for him, this is leading him into the right direction.
Getting offered by these big schools such as Duke, UNC, or Notre Dame is really something that any kid would dream, but for Ryan, he just cries because he is so joyful of how many big schools are showing interest in him or offered him. Some of the kids his age would love for a big school like Duke to show some type of interest them. BECB asked Ryan to take us through the process of what is going through his brain when he talks to some of these D1 coaches. When explaining to BECB how he feels, it felt like Ryan was getting emotional.
"It is really unbelievable," said Ryan. "I never thought I would cry after a phone call with a Division One coach, but it really happened. I just get so emotional because after watching these teams on television for so long and then the transition to becoming a high major recruit and have to pick one. You mention Duke as a dream school for everybody, and they called me on a Monday night in October and I cried in joy after talking to coach Wojo. It was just like, damn Duke wants me, an average kid who worked extremely hard and now Duke wants me. It's really something special and I'm truly blessed. I get those feelings with a lot of schools still recruiting me hard."
Ryan is still being recruited hard and he puts a lot of pressure on himself to succeed in what he's doing because he know that everyone is watching him. Schools are watching him because they want him to work hard. The exceptional thing about Ryan is that he really wants to grow as a player and gain confidence. He puts pressure on himself everyday to do the best in whatever he's doing because he just doesn't want to take a step back in terms of production on the court. Ryan understands that he has to keep it up even though he is a top high school player.
"Oh, without a doubt and all that pressure contributes to my confidence as a player," said Ryan. "I walk in a gym and just that belief that I'm going back to kill the competition and no matter what I'm the best player on the court. When I'm working out in the weight room, on the court, pool, track or anywhere, I know that this work is going to give me an edge and I feel l always have something to prove even if I'm recognized as a top player. I know eyes are on me and I have to meet high standards, but the standard I set for myself are even higher."
A car crash that happened in 2013 and now rehabbing from an hip injury in 2014 are just two negative events that have taken place, but Ryan does not overlook the positives and is really grateful for what he has.