Vujadinovic, Rams end on high note, win bronze
TORONTO - Just 24 hours after having their national title hopes come to an end, the Ryerson Rams responded with a workman like effort beating the Dalhousie Tigers 84-66.
Head coach Roy Rana reflected after the game, “I thought today we just played together. On defence, we were a very tight unit, on the offence we shared the ball and got off to a good start and stuck with that.”
Ryerson was playing for bronze Sunday afternoon losing the semifinal to the Calgary Dinos and although they had fallen short of their ultimate team goal they wanted to end on a high note.
“It’s always special to win a medal here.” Rams head coach Roy Rana said. “Obviously we wanted a different colour and that didn’t happen. And we’ll keep striving to make that happen.”
The coach of the Rams added that during his time in basketball he’s learned that bronze medal games can show a lot. “It’s game like these where you find out how people react to adversity and respond to disappointment.”
Rana added, “I thought this group was absolutely incredible today. They showed up and played Ryerson basketball. I thought they represented the university with tremendous pride and I’m really pleased to see this group of seniors go out with a win.”
For Ryerson’s Fil Vujadinovic this game wasn’t just his last as a Ram but a chance to win a U SPORTS medal in all five of his years with the Rams.
“It’s a surreal moment to be able to go out with a win.” Vujadinovic said. “There’s a lot of athletes that don’t get to experience the U SPORTS Final 8, and to be able to win five medals is something really special.”
The fifth-year forward pointed out that it’s not the wins, x’s and o’s, or the fans that he’ll miss the most, but “the memories I have made with my teammates at the hotel, during practices or when we get food, just being together. It’s those kinds of memories that will stick with me forever.”
Vujadinovic is the only player who has suited up for Ryerson in all five of their national championship medaling seasons. During this run the Rams have had roster turnover, losing star players such as Aaron Best, Jahmal Jones and Manny Diressa to graduation.
Rana said, “The dream when I came here was to build a national power house.” Rana added, “The medals that we’re winning, and the character young men that we’re pumping out, says a lot about the program.”
Now that the season is over coach Rana, his staff, and the team will enjoy one final post game meal as a group. Rana stressed the importance of the tradition and culture. “Right now, we’re going celebrate our memories.”
Rana ended with, “In a time like this it’s about people, it’s about celebrating this group.”