Richard Malayny’s road to the 2013 Canada Summer Games began Nov. 26 of last year at an identification camp in Gander.
Hosted by Newfoundland and Labrador’s men’s basketball coaches Erica Kennedy and Ian Coultas, Malayny was one of nine youth who attended the camp.
Although every athlete got an equal look, the coaches were extremely interested in seeing what Malayny could do.
“You can't teach size, and we would like to give him a good look just to show him that we can help him," said Kennedy in November, of the 6’8” Grade 9 centre.
Following the November identification camp, Malayny was named to the team’s training squad, and spent a lot time in St. John’s whipping himself into shape with the rest of his teammates.
Through the provincial Canada Games team, he also got to learn from one of top basketball trainers in the United States — a guy who has worked with such NBA players as Dwyane Wade, Kyrie Irving, Mario Chalmers, and Nolan Smith.
“Micah Lancaster, one of the top basketball trainers in the U.S., came to St. John’s for a training camp,” said Malayny. “The team attended that, too, and received a lot of good training from Micah.”
Over the Easter break, Malayny found himself back in St. John’s competing for a spot on the provincial team’s roster.
About a week later, he learned he was named an alternate for the team, which will compete at the 2013 Games in Sherbrooke, Que., Aug. 2-17.
Obviously, Malayny would sooner be a starter, but he’ll gladly be an alternate.
“I was happy with it,” said Malayny. “A lot of basketball players outside of St. John’s don’t usually make it…so I was really happy to hear I was named an alternate.”
With the Games still more than 400 days away, Malayny doesn’t plan to sit idly by to see if he gets asked to travel to Quebec.
Instead, he’s putting the work in to force his coaches to take a long hard look at him, and hopefully come to the conclusion that he deserves to be more than an alternate.
“There’s a four-week training camp coming up in St. John’s, and I’ll be attending that with the team,” said Malayny. “If I make a good enough impression, there’s a possibility I’ll still play at the Canada Games.”
If the local basketball standout is still an alternate when the Games begin, he’s unsure if he’ll get asked to go to Quebec or not.
However, Malayny isn’t thinking about that for the time being. He’s focused on improving his strengths and weaknesses as a player, and doing what he can to impress his Canada Games coaches.
“They were impressed because I haven’t gotten the training the athletes from St. John’s have had, and I was able to hold my own against them,” said Malayny.
In the meantime, while his teammates train in St. John’s, a number of local coaches have worked with Malayny to improve his game.
The St. Paul’s Intermediate student is extremely thankful to those local coaches, who have helped him improve in various areas.
“Mr. (Mike) Walsh, Mr. (Ed) Traverse, Mr. (Deon) Goulding, and Mr. (Terry) Burton have all helped me a lot,” said Malayny. “Mr. Walsh has focused on the basics, like dribbling and attacking the basket; Mr. Burton and Mr. Goulding have helped me become a better leader; and Mr. Traverse (Malayny’s varsity coach at St. Paul’s) has helped my game improve since he’s been coaching me. I’m getting a bit of everything from them. I really appreciate their help, and it means a lot having them here.”