The typical college basketball player is usually in their late teens or early 20’s. They’re college students and that is usually the age range college students (and collegiate athletes) consist of. For 38-year-old Dan Stoddard, he seems to be trying to defy all expectations and compete against people 20 years younger than him.
Stoddard wasn’t exactly seeking out playing for a college. According to the Ottawa Citizen, Algonquin College head coach Trevor Costello refereed an alumni game and noticed Stoddard outperforming everyone on the court.
The last time Stoddard played organized basketball was in high school over 20 years ago but once Algonquin’s coach told Stoddard he should try out for the team, the 6’8″ bus driver who takes online classes, spent a couple months to get into playing shape and get ready for the open tryout.
Stoddard lost 50 pounds (now weighing 330 pounds) and made the team. The feeling really set in when Stoddard scored in an exhibition game.
“We played an exhibition game against last year’s national champs,” he said Wednesday, cooling down after practice. “I scored a basket, they called out my name (on a loud speaker) and I could have cried on the floor.”
A rookie at age 38, it wasn’t just two points, was it? “These guys will know what it means in 20 years.”
Stoddard has had to prove people who were surprised he was playing college basketball that he could play. Teammates didn’t believe that he was trying out at first. Fans of rival teams make fun and laugh that someone way older than everyone else on the court is playing. Stoddard seems to be shutting them up with his play. The entire story is a must read.
[Ottawa Citizen/Photo: Jean Levac]