Monday, 17 August 2009

Rana Honoured, Excited to lead Rams

I had a chance to catch up recently with newly-appointed Ryerson mentor Roy Rana, his summer filled with activity in and around Canada's National team and now focused on building a CIS contender in downtown Toronto. Rana projected a humble, mature approach to the new position, feeling honoured that a native of downtown Toronto with long coaching ties in the local community was rewarded by being chosen to lead the Rams. Expect him to "work the phones" as he put it, to work the recruiting trail, bring back alumni and generally help bring a stronger profile to the men's basketball program at Ryerson.

Rana feels strongly that the athletic department under Ivan Joseph and indeed the entire University are building a change in culture in which his program has a leading role to play. Expect several new, higher profile events and in general a "fresh way we conduct ourselves" as Rana put it. Having had the position for only a few days, Rana has already added one familiar face, 6'6" Chris Montague, a swing forward who he coached at Eastern Commerce and played two seasons previously with the Rams. As well, Rana believes he can bring in between two and four new faces in time for this coming season depending upon how things work out with the process. Going forward, Rana belives the University and his program have unique qualities academically and with student life in downtown Toronto to be able to recruit "where ever the talent is", so expect a wide geographical focus on future recruiting.

Regarding building out his staff, Rana has already had what he calls "lots of interest" from several local basketball people, which he attributes to the decision to have a known Toronto-area coach leading the program. Expect Rana to name three to six people to his staff over the course of the coming weeks.

Rana has had busy summer with the National team program and attended the recently-concluded Senior Men's national team set of workouts at the ACC over this past weekend and came away impressed with the "culture and energy of this summer's group which is maybe the best I've seen". Rana adds that bringing in younger kids like Dwight Powell, Tristan Thompson and Kevin Pangos to give these projected future stars a taste of what playing for Canada means can only help the program in the future.

We wish Roy the best of luck building his program in the important market of Toronto.

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