Adam Voll was once considered a can’t-miss prospect.
A former league MVP and regional champion, the six-foot-seven big man amassed one of the greatest resumes in school history at St. Mary High School – one of Kitchener, Ont.’s most decorated basketball programs.
He was considered a steal to be landing in the CIS, a “coup” for Roy Rana’s Ryerson Rams by some basketball experts.
Huge coup for Ryerson. 6’7″ pf Adam Voll (Kitchener/St. John’s Kilmarnock) & 6’6″ sf Jean-Victor Mukama (Hamilton/ACMT) commit to Rams. #CIS
— Barry Hayes (@hoopstarscanada) March 13, 2013
Maybe it’s reason that Voll, now three years removed from his high school glory days, seemingly still speaks with a certain level of wonder when describing his growing pains while adjusting to the next level.
“To be honest it was really tough being one of the younger guys and not seeing a lot of minutes,” said Voll, speaking from the Mattamy Athletic Centre lounge area on Sunday afternoon.
“But I’m glad I was able to tough it out because it was pretty mentally tough to put up with it day after day knowing I came from being one of the best players on the court to having to fight for minutes, and even for an opportunity.”
Voll’s career averages (2.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 34.1 field goal shooting in 10.1 minutes per game) are certainly subpar given this is the same player who regularly imposed his will on his opponents.
This is the same player who was ranked as the 10th best power forward in the country by Hoopstars Canada – the country’s leading scout agency.
This is the same player who was responsible for delivering St. Mary’s High School with its first-ever provincial championship berth.
So for Voll, he is hoping – and tirelessly working – to ensure that the lustre from that same player hasn’t worn off just yet.
“I know I had a rough couple of years. I was a little slow to develop but I’m coming around now,” he said.
Just a couple of games into the 2015-16 CIS pre-season the results would also reflect that.
Voll had a career-high 11 points in the Rams’ first game against the Humber Hawks and then was given the start versus McGill University on Oct.4.
Gone is Roy Rana, due to a sabbatical leave – the man, of course, responsible for reeling in the big man – but also for saddling him to the sidelines in his first two seasons.
Patrick Tatham – his replacement – has already shown an affinity for the 21-year-old that appears to be working.
Voll recorded six points, seven rebounds (two shy of tying his career high) and played 17 minutes in his most recent game against McGill on Sunday afternoon though he likely would have been given more had he not fouled out.
Although just a brief glimpse into his capabilities, Voll provided a number of reminders of why many considered him a gem prospect years ago.
In the opening moments of the game he ignited the crowd with a two-handed flush and then controlled the glass, snatching rebounds and altering a number of shots. In the final frame, he leaned back and nailed a key free throw line jumper to distance his club.
And although it is just the start – and a modest one at that – the back-to-back strong outings have Voll optimistic heading into an important third year.
“I definitely feel like I’m in a lot better shape,” he said following the game. “I know the system more, I’m healthy, I’m more comfortable so it can only go up from here.”