Former Fisher Athlete to Play Pro Basketball in Ireland
Former St. John Fisher College men’s basketball standout Keegan Ryan ’17 is taking the next step in his basketball career as he starts to play professionally in Ireland through the Sport Changes Life Foundation’s Victory Scholars Program.
Ryan, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management, was one of only 26 students selected from a national pool of applicants to participate in the program. As a Victory Scholar, he was also accepted into the master’s degree in international management program at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway).
“The program is great on so many different levels. It allows me to continue my education and basketball career at very high levels while also embracing a brand new culture and seeing Europe and different parts of the world,” he said.
Celebrating 10 years in 2017, the Sports Changes Life Foundation launched the Victory Scholars program to introduce youth to American student-athletes who can share lessons about teamwork and confidence-building through sports. By engaging in sports themselves, pursing post-graduate work at an Irish university, and serving as mentors to Irish youth, the Victory Scholars participate in a cultural exchange in several capacities.
For Ryan, the Victory Scholars Program is an opportunity to play the sport he loves at the professional level. As a member of the Titans Basketball Club, Galway City’s premier basketball team, Ryan will travel all over Ireland and Northern Ireland for games. He’ll also bring his impressive sports résumé to NUI Galway as a member of their collegiate team.
During Ryan’s time at Fisher, the Cardinals went 85-26 and qualified for the NCAA Championship twice, including an appearance in the Sweet 16 in 2014-15. A consistent player throughout his career, Ryan played in 110 career games including 107 starts.
He is among the best to ever play at Fisher, and certainly one of the most decorated in program history. He ranks fourth all-time in scoring with 1,765 points while his 996 career rebounds are the most in program history. His 512 free throws ranks first in program history while his .569 career field goal percentage is the sixth-highest ever at Fisher.
For his contributions on the court, he was named a preseason All-American by D3hoops.com in each of his final two seasons, was named Offensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Conference by the Empire 8, and an ECAC All-Star following the 2016 season. The National Association of Basketball Coaches tabbed Ryan First-Team All-District while DIII News recognized the forward as a Fifth-Team All-American.
Off the court, Ryan performed well in the classroom and was named Academic All-District earlier this year by the College Sports Information Directors of America. That success will serve him well as he pursues his master’s degree.
In addition to studies and team responsibilities, Ryan will spend more than 12 hours each week engaged in community work. He’ll serve as a coach for a youth basketball team, aid other teams, and work at camps and day-long development sessions. He’ll also visit local schools and centers that assist at-risk youth.
“I will have the opportunity to help kids by telling my story and developing meaningful relationships with them,” he said. “A huge part for me was the ability to work with the youth over the course of the year and make a difference in the community.”