Competition and commitment: Men’s club basketball

The men’s club basketball team will play their first game against Xavier on Nov. 11. Photo courtesy of Sean Grove.


For many former high school athletes around the country, their time playing competitive and team sports ends when they get to college. Whether it is because of academics, injuries or the inability to keep up with a rigorous schedule, the time to walk off the court comes sooner rather than later for most. 

Luckily, most universities offer club sports so that many “retired” athletes can continue competing with a team. Here at Butler, those sports range from hockey and volleyball to bass fishing and curling. These teams allow many students to stay busy while building friendships that can last a lifetime. 

One of the more prominent club sports on campus is men’s basketball. 

An intense three days of tryouts at the start of the fall semester resulted in 13 former high school players making the team. Once the team was formed, practices began. They are held every Monday and Wednesday for around two hours, while games and tournaments occur on the weekends. 

Throughout the season, the team can play anywhere between 15 to 20 games while spending weekends at different schools. Junior biology major Jayden Doster is entering his third year as a forward on the team. He said the opportunity to continue playing basketball in college makes up for the time commitment. 

“Sometimes it can be a lot to handle, but I love every second of it,” Doster said. 

For a lot of the guys on the team, playing competitive basketball was something that they felt needed to continue as they entered Butler. The anxiety of stepping on a new campus with very few familiar faces can be overwhelming — not to mention, the big difference between classes and schedules as compared to high school. For some, the sport was the one constant that they had. 

Junior finance major Aidan Lee came to Butler after looking for a liberal arts school with a medium-sized campus and a chance to continue playing basketball. The magical runs by the Butler basketball team in 2010 and 2011 also sparked his interest for the school. 

Now the vice president of the team, Lee reflected on his decision and commitment. 

“I’ve been playing basketball since I could walk, so when I got the option to continue playing, I knew I had to take it,” Lee said. 

High school sports may not always be the most fun for some kids. Coaches, playing time and other teammates can halt a love and passion for the game very quickly. 

“In high school, I never liked being a part of the team that much, but now I’m so close to everyone around me that it’s hard to not enjoy myself,” Lee said. 

Moving away from family and into a brand new situation at college can be challenging for some. But the one constant throughout most of the team’s life is still there. 

“It kind of feels like an escape from a lot of other stresses, whether that’s school or any personal issues,” Doster said. 

For sophomore marketing major Alec Ruback, it was more about the competitive nature of the game that brought him to club basketball. The center entertained the idea of playing basketball at the next level during his time in high school, but really liked what Butler and their business program had to offer. 

“Basketball has always been something I have been super passionate about,” Ruback said. “I had an offer to a smaller school, but I wanted to make sure I was going to a university that provided me with a better college experience.” 

The club team will start their season on the road against Xavier’s club team on Nov. 11. 

“It was a tough loss last year,” Doster said. “But I love the team we got, so I’m pretty confident heading into the game.” 

Along with Xavier, the team will play teams such as Michigan State, Dayton and Ohio State. Students are welcome to attend home games at Butler’s Health and Recreation Center. Their Instagram, @butlermcbb, will also be posting scores and highlights as the year progresses. 


Related posts