New Golden Grizzly ready to make an impact

Dave Cesefske

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One year ago, basketball player Ralph Hill decided to transfer from University of Dayton and head north to become a part of Oakland University’s basketball team. NCAA rules state transfers must sit out one full season before they can play. Now a redshirt junior, the 6-foot-6 forward is ready to bring leadership and a great work ethic to the men’s basketball team.

What were the reasons for your transfer and what made you decide to come to Oakland University’s program?

One big reason was playing time. Another big reason was we got a new coach my sophomore year and my playing style and his coaching style didn’t really match, so it was just best for both parties to part ways.

How have you gotten acclimated with your new teammates and coaches?

It’s just a family, it’s a band of brothers. You show up one day and you don’t know anybody. And the next day when you find out ‘I’m going to go to this school and be a part of this team,’ everybody just opens their arms and welcomes you in and shows you the ropes. And even though I was a sophomore in college and already played two years, it was still something new to come to another school and start over. But the guys here were great in getting me acclimated here.

What do you feel you bring to this team and what should we expect?

Hard work, a leadership mentality. I’m the guy out there that’s going to talk a lot. You’ll hear a lot out of me but it’s all about getting a win at the end of the day. Whatever I can do to help the team get a win, I could care less about what the stats say.

With NCAA rules for a transfer, you had to sit out one whole season. What was the toughest part of that?

Sitting out was tough and I couldn’t even practice last year because I was injured, so this past year was one of the hardest years of my life, not being able to play the sport I love. But it’s a family here and the guys really help me through it.

It’s been one whole season since you’ve been out on the court so when I say Oct. 29 at 7 p.m., regular season opener, what kind of emotions or thoughts run through your head?

The first one is excitement, I can’t wait to get back out there. This is what (I have been) doing since I was five years old. And from five years old to 18, my dream was to play college basketball and now I’m here. I did two years and then had to sit a year, so it’s just like the excitement, anxiety and a little bit of nervousness. But I can’t wait to run out there and hear the band playing, to be out on the court with officials and (the lights on), I can’t wait.

What’s your message to the Grizzly fan base?

Come out and support us, we have a great fan base and they always see the end result, they see us on the court. With the work that we put in the summer and practice at 6 a.m., they don’t see that. But the fact…they will have our back at the game and will be cheering for us at the games, thank you.

The men’s basketball team opens the season at home Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. against Tiffin University.