Ayers Excited to Play in Big East

Ryan Ayers, a 6-6, 195-pound junior wing at Germantown Academy (Pa.) made his official visit to Notre Dame during the weekend of the Blue and Gold game in late April. It wasn't long after that he decided to make Notre Dame his school choice when he made his verbal commitment at a news conference on May 5th.

Ryan chose Notre Dame over Virginia, which were his only two official visits. Maryland and hometown Villanova also made offers.

However, it was Notre Dame's academics, tradition, and national recognition that interested Ryan. And, his official visit sealed the deal for his commitment. Ryan mentioned his relationship with Mike Brey and the current players that made him feel welcome. "I really like Coach Brey and the direction he has the program headed," said Ayers. "I'm also excited to play in the Big East. With new additions to the conference I believe it is the premier conference in the country."

However, what really stood out to him is how the community at Notre Dame made him feel at home. He also meet future teammate Luke Zeller on his visit and commented what a great person and player Luke was and is looking forward to being his teammate.

Ryan's season averages last year were 17 ppg, 8 rebounds, and 4 assist. Pretty impressive stats considering the competition he plays in the Philadelphia area. Speaking of Philadelphia, many compare Ryan style of play to another product of the Philly area Richard "Rip" Hamilton. "My Dad and I were just talking the other night about Rip and my games," Ayers said. "I'm a slasher/scorer like Rip, who can come of a screen and drain the jump shot".

Just like Hamilton, there are parts of Ryan's game that need improvement. "I need to work on my on-the ball defense, and also I need to get stronger and more athletic," Ayers said.

Obviously, any flaws in him game will be closely watched by his Father, former Philadelphia 76er's coach Randy Ayers. Ryan also mentioned he gets some mentoring from some of the current players on the 76er's.

Ryan seems to share a lot of the same characteristic as other Notre Dame athletes: Polite, well mannered, and intelligent. It was a joy to interview him and hopefully I will have the opportunity to speak with him again. I was hoping to catch him play this summer at the annual Nike basketball camp in Indianapolis. To my disappointment, he will be bypassing the Nike camp to attend the Adidas summer camp in Atlanta.

Ryan also mentioned he and incoming Irish freshman Rob Kurz work out quite a bit together. Rob lives only five minutes away from Ryan's house.

In the end, hopefully Ryan and Rich Hamilton will share a few more characteristics after his career at Notre Dame, a Big East and National Championship.

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