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A force in the post

Adia Waldburger

The Park Record

Sometimes what makes an athlete great can’t be measured by the numbers on the stat sheet.

For Park City senior Ryan Sherman, his contributions to the boys’ varsity basketball team can be found both in the stats and in numerous ways that can’t be measured in a box score. Besides averaging nearly a double-double (in points and rebounds) this season, Sherman’s intense strength and conditioning regimen and leadership have made him one of the most important players for the Miners.

According to Park City head coach Caleb Fine, Sherman is a pretty unique player. He is one of the first Park City players to average almost a double-double in a long time, and his hard work has earned him a reputation as one of the toughest guys on the team.

Sherman wasn’t always a gym rat. He played basketball recreationally, but never took up the sport seriously until his freshman year.

"Before freshman year, football was my favorite sport," Sherman said.

But by sophomore year, Sherman decided to permanently trade his football spikes for the hardwood. Fortunately, the transition to competitive hoops wasn’t too difficult for the 6-foot four-inch Sherman. His father, Doug, who played college basketball at the University of Scranton, guided his son’s development. Doug is constantly playing basketball with him and offering him guidance.

"He has always been there for me, always helped me," Sherman said.

But Sherman’s development is also due to a relentless commitment to hard work. Sherman hits the weight room year ’round, works on his conditioning, and spends countless hours in the gym honing his skills. In the off-season, he lifts weight five or six times a week, runs twice a week, and plays pick-up games four or five times a week.

"The big thing with me is to work hard and stay motivated," he said.

All of Sherman’s hard work shows. He is a physical specimen and a force on the floor.

"He’s put his dues in, in the weight room," Fine said. "He can physically dominate players. He’s a big-time post player."

He moved from the eighth man in the rotation his freshman year to starter in his sophomore year, and last year he was the only junior to earn a varsity letter. This year, Sherman is a team captain. The Miners lost a number of talented seniors to graduation last season, and now the team’s success rests on his shoulders. It’s a responsibility that, like everything else in his basketball career, he takes very seriously.

Last year, Sherman witnessed the Miners lose some of their motivation, which only made him want to work harder. This year, as team captain, he is trying to set an example of what commitment and extra effort can do to change a team.

"The team knows what hard work can do," he said. "If I keep working hard, it shows the other kids to keep working."

This year he has been trying to share his secrets to success with the other Park City starters, convincing them that bulking up and staying focused will make both their individual and the team games infinitely better. And Sherman continues to set high standards for himself. He has set a goal to score in double digits every night and becoming one of the best players in 3A. He also hopes to see the Miners win the region title, make the playoffs, and maybe, just maybe, win the state championship.

With Sherman’s work ethic, it seems as if anything might be possible.

"He has worked so hard," Fine said.


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