Growing up over 4,000 kilometers away in North Vancouver, B.C. sat a young athletic guard who would eventually make his way to the home of the CN Tower.
Chase Ruttenberg, now one of two new members of the men’s basketball team at the University of Toronto, has a bright future ahead of him as he enters his first training camp.
When it came time to choose a university to attend the choice was clear for Ruttenberg.
“Academics were a big thing for me when it came to choosing a school, with University of Toronto’s academic program ranking where it is, it became very appealing to me,” said Ruttenberg.
During his time at Sentinel Secondary School in British Columbia the then six-foot-five wingman found success at his level very easily.
Upon graduation, Ruttenberg was featured on the U16 British Columbia provincial team along with being invited to try out for the Canadian Cadet men’s national team.
Ruttenberg currently holds a Vancouver high school record for most points in a game following a 63-point performance during a district finals contest.
Ruttenberg has already had to face his share of obstacles as he entered this season’s training camp with an injury.
“I sustained a minor elbow injury heading into training camp, but it wasn’t anything that set me back too much,” said Ruttenberg.
“I don’t think something like this will slow down my progression heading into the season.”
Like every athlete making the transition into the next level there will always be some differences. For Ruttenberg he believes that he’s putting in work in all the right areas to be ready for this upcoming season.
“The physicality of the game was the hardest to get used to, I hit the gym constantly, met my goal weight but I still know there’s a lot more work to do,” said Ruttenberg.
Some athletes may be taking the transition a bit too lightly as John Campbell, the newly appointed men’s head coach, believes making the jump is more of a mental game.
“I think it’s a big transition, I think from an information perspective there’s a lot more to process, the volume of the information is definitely greater than it is in high school and then the time that they have to process that information is much faster,” said Campbell.
“I think that for first year athletes they have trouble remembering things, having to sort of make reads in greater detail and having to make those reads at the pace that they have to in University basketball is a big struggle so I think all freshmen sort of go through that phase where they’re trying to adapt.”
The game may be moving at a faster pace for Chase and feature some bigger bodies than he is used to, but Coach Campbell believes that the success of his freshman players comes down to the coaching they receive.
“The biggest thing is really trying to be through in your teaching, try and make sure initially that you’re giving them the overall concepts and an opportunity to learn those things,” said Campbell.
“Being able to break it down into smaller pieces where they can focus on the specific reads is important, but you know you might be able to accelerate it a little bit but for the most part it is a process that the players have to go through.”
Just like any freshman, Ruttenberg is ready for the challenge and opportunity to not only better himself, but also his teammates around him.
“As far as goals I’d like to win as many games as we can this year and contribute in any way I can,” said Ruttenberg. “I want my teammates to know that I’m there for them.”
For more videos and photos of Chase Ruttenberg check out http://www.chaseruttenberg.com/