Rookie player of the men’s basketball team
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
Bryce Derton is a first year player for the men’s basketball team. The Royals’ No. 12 plays shooting guard, and is enrolled at Douglas in the Criminology program.
Although the classes and system may be new to him, something that hasn’t changed for him is basketball. Derton has been playing the game since the age of four and began playing competitively at the age of seven. He credits the start of his passion to a family friend, whom he fondly recalls playing with as a child. But it is his brother who he credits his growth in basketball to.
Bryce and Sheldon Derton share a two-year age gap, with Sheldon being the older of the two. Bryce described his brother’s contributions to his career as “huge”—giving him credit for keeping Bryce grounded and pushing him to be a better player and person overall.
In the distant future, Derton can see himself travelling overseas to play in a professional league. At the moment, however, he is focused on improving himself, in terms of playing and education. His goal this year, much like the rest of his team, is to make it to Nationals. But unlike many others who believe improvement in a wide variety of areas is the key to winning, Derton believes that positivity will be a key factor for the Royals.
Coming in fresh from high school, Derton had little to no idea what the structure of the program would be like. He came in expecting a rigid, hard-pressed atmosphere but, instead, was pleasantly surprised when he found himself in a program where everyone has an equal say and opportunity. He was welcomed with open arms and given a chance to grow and thrive in a positive and friendly environment.
However, making the first team was anything but easy. Derton recognizes the depth that the team has at the moment but remains confident in his skill and ability to perform when called upon.
The pressure to play well is certainly real as well, especially in-game. Although the pressure has lessened somewhat since the beginning of the season, when rookies need to prove themselves worthy of a first team position, it has not disappeared. Rookies often find that if that make a mistake in a real game, they can be riding the pine for a while before they get another chance.
So how does Derton deal with the pressure? He tackles it head on with positivity. His key to playing well is to remain positive and take every chance he can to play. It helps to have a team that supports their rookies, and Derton credits his teammates for always picking each other up when things are looking down.
In the next couple of years, Derton is looking forward playing more minutes and being a bigger impact player on the team. He believes that given a couple years of growth and experience, he can be the best player in the league.