Senior year; the true endgame

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

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I remember sophomore year of high school, during junior varsity basketball tryouts, when a student had to me drag off the gym floor after passing out from running suicides for 10 minutes straight. It was at this moment, which turned out to be the most embarrassing thing I did in high school, that I realized a basketball career wasn’t in my future.

After that unforgettable experience, I was hit with the difficult question of where I wanted to go in life. I felt even more pressure to find an answer since my parents were constantly asking that question. But just like any high school student, all I cared about was playing video games and finding the confidence to talk to the girl I had a crush on.

It wasn’t until the start of junior year when I realized I could combine the two things I love the most: sports and writing. From that point on, I changed the narrative of being the kid that couldn’t last one day at basketball tryouts to being an aspiring sports writer with dreams of covering the NBA Finals.

I came to Iona-the only college that accepted me-not knowing what the next four years had in store. Luckily, I was introduced to The Ionian and quickly found my purpose on campus.

I was thrown into the fire early, writing in the first issue that came out my freshman year. It feels like yesterday when I was trying to figure out how to write an article on volleyball, a sport I knew very little about at the time.

Basketball season rolled around and I saw myself serving as the beat writer for the Iona men’s basketball team, which was a goal of mine, and I was told freshmen typically weren’t assigned to cover the biggest sport on campus.

I felt so much joy and excitement covering my first basketball game in the Hynes Center, and I never looked back.

For the last two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to serve as the sports editor at The Ionian, a position that required late nights and early mornings in the office or in a corner seat at Starbucks. Besides the hectic deadlines and coming up with article ideas on the fly, being the sports editor has been a tremendous learning experience and it helped me develop an appreciation for sports like soccer, water polo and lacrosse.

Being the sports editor showed me the impact of storytelling and the importance of journalism, especially in a time where it’s heavily criticized.

More importantly, it taught me how to work with a team and understand that it’s ok to make a mistake once in a while.

I will never forget the moments I had being at Iona and working for the newspaper, from covering four Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball championships to sitting in the same row as NBA legends Reggie Miller and Chris Webber while Iona played against Duke and North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. Trust me, I don’t regret one bit of it.

There are probably some seniors counting the days until they are out of New Rochelle. I, on the other hand, sometimes wish time would slow down just a little.

When I walk across the stage at Madison Square Garden on May 18, officially ending my time at Iona, it may feel like the future is certain in terms of where I want to go in life. Yet, there is still a sense of uncertainty about how will I handle the greater challenges that lie ahead.

As I prepare for the next chapter-graduate school-I will always keep in mind the biggest lesson I learned during my four years at Iona: Life is truly based on what you do with the time you have.