Ryan Dame, Davenport getting second chance together

November 18, 2012 in NAIA

By Patrick Hayes

When Ryan Dame originally enrolled at Davenport, a set of tragic circumstances both off and on the court prompted him to leave the school and transfer after his freshman season. Dean Holzwarth of the Grand Rapids Press has a great feature on Dame:

Dame, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward, tore his anterior cruciate ligament during a preseason open gym, and then experienced the sudden loss of his 14-year-old younger brother, Evan, who was killed Dec. 6, 2008 in a car accident.

The injury was a crushing blow to Dame, who was forced to sit out the entire season.

“That was probably the worst thing that had happened to me up until that point, basketball wise,” Dame said. “Just to know that I wasn’t going to be able to play for a whole season.”

Dame’s brother was a passenger in a car that was hit by an Allegan County cruiser responding to another call. The fatal accident, Dame said, was “very hard to deal with.”

“That compounded everything that had been going on already,” Dame said. “It was really tough not being able to play basketball for a whole year, and then going through my freshman year of college with all the different things like that.

“When my brother passed, it was definitely life-changing. It made me do things differently, I think, and it changed a lot of things for me.”

Dame transferred to Grace Bible after that season, but now, as a senior with one year of eligibility remaining, he’s back at Davenport. So far this season, he’s averaging 5.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in about 16 minutes per game while shooting 59 percent from the field.

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