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Cardinal Courier

Cardinal Courier

The Student News Site of St. John Fisher University

Cardinal Courier

The Life of a D3 Basketball Player: The Story of Christian Daley

Christian Daley (photo from team roster)

Whether it be D1, D2, or even D3, many kids out there just want a chance to play ball and be great somewhere. One basketball player in particular didn’t care if it was D1 or D3 basketball. He just wanted to “hoop.’’

The journey to college basketball for Christian Daley hasn’t been a walk in the park. Growing up, basketball wasn’t just a sport for him; it was a way of life. Hours spent perfecting his jump shot, honing his defensive skills, and studying the game have molded him into the player he is today. “I got into basketball when I was about nine years old going to summer camps, and from a young age I always loved watching it, and when I began I always had this joy for it,” Daley said. ‘’Coaches and counselors noticed my love for it and potential, and would always tell my parents to get into it competitively and I’ve been playing basketball ever since.’’ 

In high school, Daley went on to play three years of varsity basketball. He ended up winning his team’s Unsung Hero Award during his junior year. Then, he was selected to the PSAA-All League both his junior and senior year. However, it wasn’t just his skills on the court that made him a good player as well as a great teammate and a leader, but it was his resilience in the face of adversity that made him a role model for his peers.

Christian Daley didn’t start his journey at St. John Fisher University. He went to Lasalle University for two semesters before transferring to Fisher where he beganhis college basketball career. ‘’What made me come to Fisher was that it allowed me to be close to home while playing basketball collegiately, while being able to study sports management.’’

Transitioning to the college level presented new challenges for Daley; the pace of the game was faster, the competition fiercer. Yet, he thrived in practice, showcasing his versatility and adaptability. Off the court, Daley embodies the true essence of a student-athlete. Balancing a rigorous academic schedule with the demands of basketball, he sets an example for aspiring athletes, emphasizing the importance of education and discipline. 

“It is definitely hard to manage but when it comes to balancing everything it is really about organization and staying organized,’’ Daley said. ‘’Whether that be writing things down, or putting things in a calendar, staying organized helps.’’ 

However, Daley wasn’t off to the best start of his career. Unfortunately, in a home opener game against Alfred University during pregame warmups, Daley went up for a dunk and landed awkwardly on his knee, hearing a “pop.” He tried to keep going during the warmup, but he knew something was wrong. He then got an MRI the following week, revealing his torn ACL and ending his season. 

It was really tough. It still is a little bit but I’m just blessed to be able to lace up my shoes and be on the court. That was the toughest thing I ever really had to go through being an athlete,” Daley said. “Definitely builds character and toughness. Learned a lot by myself during that period and really embraced this process and journey.’’ Daley battled through countless hours of rehab, getting his knee strength back together.He wanted to be ready to go for the 2023-2024 college basketball season to support his teammates. He knew there would be restrictions and things he would have to get used to,  and he is still trying to ease back into the sport while also getting used to playing with a knee brace.

“I think the season is going pretty decent. Having a big win over U of R and starting conference play 2-0 is a really good step and morale boost for the team,’’ Daley said. ‘’It’s December and we know it is a long season so we try to not get too high or too low.’’ 

I believe that Christian Daley has the potential to be a hell of a player for the Fisher basketball program. He leads by example, and you can tell by the way he carries himself. ” [When] it comes to mentally preparing for important games, it would be having kind of a routine to make sure you get the necessary shots up, feeling hydrated, and keeping my heart rate low,” Daley said. 

Daley continues to be a beacon of sportsmanship and dedication within his team. His impact may not be measured in points scored or minutes played right now but as the season progresses, be sure to watch out for the name Christian Daley in the box score. 

In a sport that often celebrates on-court performances, Christian Daley’s story serves as a reason to never give up on your dreams no matter the circumstances. Always work harder no matter what and never give up. His journey stands as the power of teamwork, resilience, and selfless dedication, making the heart of basketball beat within the unity and support forged by a team, both on and off the court.

 

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    John LexerDec 14, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    Great story and great read

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