By Adam McDougall
COVID was actually a massive deciding factor when it came to me attending RNS. Because of the lockdowns and restrictions COVID brought, I didn’t know whether or not Saint John High School would actually have a season. Talking to Coach Gay really influenced my decision because he told me that RNS would be practicing (almost) no matter what so that once things got back to some type of normalcy, the team would be ready. I wanted to play basketball, and RNS gave me the best opportunity to do so, while still getting the best education I could.
During the summer, I couldn’t really find any gym time. Obviously, COVID was the main reason for that. I did, however, have a net outside my house and a court just down the street from where I live, so I used those places to get shots up and get workouts in. Pretty much all of the stuff I did was individual work, but I found that to be fun because I was able to just play basketball without any distractions. In a way, it brought me back to the way I used to feel as a kid, just being able to have time to myself while playing basketball.
I’m from a town outside Saint John called Grand Bay-Westfield. It’s close enough that I don’t live on campus like the rest of my teammates at RNS. In fact, I’m the only day student on the team. Being a day student is kind of different. Sometimes, for example, it’s hard to get rides to practice. We have morning practices, which puts a lot of stress on my parents because I need them to drive me places (I don’t have my licence yet, so I can’t drive myself). There are some really good things about being a day student, though. I get alone time when I need it because I have my own room, which also means I don’t have to worry about any roommates. I also get home-cooked meals, which is a massive plus.
The thing that stands out to me about RNS is just the way people here carry themselves. Obviously, the basketball team is really good here – last year’s record proves that pretty easily – but nobody here is arrogant or cocky about that. The same thing can be said about the academics at RNS; even though they’re top-notch, people are super humble. I think that kind of environment makes it easier for me to push myself academically and athletically. The team culture here was actually something I had to get accustomed to, to be honest. I had to learn to handle myself as part of the team on and off the court. Having workouts and practices multiple times a day was something I had never dealt with before, so that was something I needed to adjust to.
The biggest thing that I bring to the team is my scoring ability. I think I do a good job working off the ball – making the necessary cuts and so forth – and working off other people, which allows me to get good shot opportunities.
There isn’t one specific person I model my game around, but I do like to take bits and pieces from players that I watch – especially NBA players. I’ll see an aspect of someone’s game that I like, and I’ll try to implement it into my own game, but I will pick and choose who I try to emulate. Right now, I like watching Jason Tatum. I really like his game, and I try to emulate it as best as I can.
I don’t have any concrete academic plans for the future right now. I know that I want to go to university – and play basketball while I’m there – but I do not have a specific major in mind. Right now, my favourite subject is English. I like writing and putting my thoughts down on paper, and English happens to be one of my strongest subjects as well, so my academic future might involve writing in some way (but that is by no means a plan set in stone).