QV graduate DeAnn Ryan shines in front of family and friends
College Football Videos
Basketball players can sometimes go into a slump where nothing seems to go right. Whether they can't find the basket, grab the rebound or hit a shot from the line, athletes' confidence takes a blow during a cold spell.
But a single big performance can turn it all around and help the athlete find his or her mojo.
For Berea College freshman guard DeAnn Ryan, that big moment came in front of friends and family.
The Quaker Valley graduate returned to Western Pennsylvania on Feb. 9 as the Mountaineers upset Point Park, 49-48. Ryan scored the winning layup with seven seconds to go after her squad battled back from a 16-point deficit.
“I was a little nervous, because it was the first game most of my family has seen me play in college,” Ryan said. “My coach had the confidence in me to keep me in late in the game. I got the ball with 15 seconds left. I took it in and didn't think anything of it. Then I saw the ball go through the hoop.
“It is one of the best experiences I have had playing. It definitely helped my confidence.”
It was a rare home loss for Point Park, which is 23-3 at the CCAC-South gymnasium over the past two seasons.
While it was a big moment for Ryan, it was even bigger for the Mountaineers. Point Park is the top team in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and the win gave Berea momentum to close the season strong.
Ryan has continued improving her game since arriving on campus, located 37 miles south of Lexington. Berea coach Terence Brooks said Ryan was put in as a point guard early in the season due to injuries. While she struggled at the point, she has excelled after being moved back into a shooting guard role.
“She is a great shooter,” Brooks said. “And she has a deadly step-back move. (Ryan) has so much knowledge of the game.”
Ryan has averaged four points off the bench. She has hit double figures four times this season, including a season-high 15 in a 75-40 win over Midway on Jan. 25.
Brooks said Ryan has struggled with confidence during her freshman season. The guard agreed with the critique and said she is becoming more comfortable against players who are more experienced and bigger — Ryan is only 5-foot-4.
“The coaching staff would like to see (Ryan) become more vocal and be more assertive throughout the remainder of her career,” Brooks said.
In addition to her academic workload — Ryan hopes to pursue a job in the medical field — and basketball, Ryan must maintain a job. All students at Berea must work an on-campus job for 10-15 hours a week.
“During high school, I would be in the gym putting 500 shots up a day,” Ryan said. “There isn't much free time now. You have to stay focused and get in the gym as much as you can.
“I have classes from 8 to 5, then practice usually 6 to 8, then I have to spend most of my night doing homework. Then the next day you start all over again.”
Despite having nine underclassmen on its roster, Berea clinched a home game in the KIAC tournament. The Mountaineers struggled early this season, but the team has won seven of its past 10 conference games to clinch home-court advantage.
Berea is in fourth with an 8-7 conference mark, behind only Point Park (10-4), Asbury (9-4) and Alice Lloyd (9-5).
“We have a great opportunity to finish strong,” Ryan said. “There are teams above us in the standings we have beat. It gives us hope we can definitely make a strong run at the end of the season. We have the confidence that we can win the conference tournament and make nationals.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- District college football preview: Cal (Pa.) visits Slippery Rock in PSAC clash
- Determination pays off for Ringgold’s Greaves at W&J
- College notes: St. Vincent’s Harbert to retire at end of season
- IUP receiver charged in robbery; another player accused of assault
- Jeannette grad Craft running hard for St. Vincent football team
- District college notebook: Geneva women’s volleyball team keeps rolling
- Slippery Rock, Cal U in huge showdown
- Senior laden Robert Morris men’s hockey team hopes to erase last season’s disappointment