Conference Freshman and Player of Year, Ryan Berg Ready to Return to the PacWest at California State San Marcos University!
Ryan’s exciting social media announcement of his commitment to California State San Marcos Universitydid not come without overcoming great adversity. Let’s back up a couple years to a time of contemplation when the energy and enthusiasm wasn’t there as Ryan randomly put shots up in his local gym, The Village in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ryan grew up playing there and hanging out with his friends from and early age. It was where he would return to hone his skills in preparation for AAU, High School and College seasons. But this time was very different, this time he returned in hopes of finding the will to continue playing the game he loved. He had come so far in such a short time. At Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, he played varsity 4 years. As a sophomore guard he helped his team to second place in the state finals. In his senior year he finished all division and all state.
Very few schools came calling in his senior year but the exception,NCAA D2 California Baptist University in Riverside, Californialiked what they saw and signed him. Ryan in return would become Cal Baptist University 2013 Freshman of the Year. Ryan didn’t stop there, he also went on to be named PacWest Player and Freshman of the Year—the first time the awards have been given to the same player in the same season. He also received All-PacWest first team, Daktronics All-West Region Second Team (the first freshman selection since 2001), NABC Division II All-District First Team, and SmallCollegeHoops.com All-America Fourth Team honors. Ryan picked up seven PacWest Freshman of the Week honors over the course of the season. All while leading the Lancers to first-ever PacWest Championship and first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship appearance, along with a program-best win streak and start by opening the 2013-14 season 16-0.
2014 however, would also be the beginning of Ryan’s most difficult stretch of his Journey of An Elite 1. In preseason of his Sophomore year at Cal Baptist University, Ryan suffered a ruptured patella tendon and then in December of 2014 an injury to his foot would later be revealed as a broken bone. With rehab for his knee Ryan pushed through the season, playing on one leg. In April of 2015, after the season was over, he would undergo knee surgery and his foot would be placed in a boot for 2 months. The boot made things worse and on October of 2015 he would undergo a second surgery. Ryan would then Grey Shirt at Cal Baptist and stay home in September to recover from surgery and complete physiotherapy.
Ryan was now 22 years old and since the age of 4 when he first started playing basketball at the local Boys and Girls Club it’s been the focus of his life. Ryan comes from a sports family that played baseball, football and basketball. He was a natural at baseball but the result was surgery to his elbow. Football didn’t serve him better, as a freshman in high school he tore a hamstring and missed the football season and half the basketball season. Basketball would prevail as the only sport he played and remained healthy, but now he was on the verge of giving up the game he loved because of a series of unfortunate injuries.
“It’s very difficult to go from healthy and killing to helpless. It beats you up mentally and after almost 2 years since I last played competitively, rehabbing was taking it’s toll on my mind. Will you be the same?- Has the window of opportunity closed? – Will I get hurt again? – it went on and on…” – Ryan Berg
January of 2016 Ryan started getting back in the gym training with BJ Letcher his former Arizona Aces AAU coach, basketball trainer and mentor. With the engine ignited by his training, Ryan attempted to go back to Cal Baptist but his injuries were still holding him back and he would have to make the difficult decision to give up his scholarship and reconsider his future in basketball. In December of 2016 Ryan completed his physical therapy. During his rehab he learned that leading up to his injury he wasn’t training smart. He would burn himself out and not listen to his body’s warning signs. He was going to have to do things differently if he was to return to the game he loved.
While scrolling on Instagram Ryan came across posts of athletes being trained like he never seen before. There was an intensity about it that he craved. He knew in order to get his body ready to compete at a high level again and withstand the daily grind he would have to become the best athlete he could possibly be. The posts were from P.H.A.S.E. 1 Athletics and he reached out immediately. Shortly after he connected with P.H.A.S.E. 1 Athletics and after his first athlete development workout he knew he found the help he would need to achieve his goals.
“I want to return to school as the “player of the year” I was, with a chance to become a professionally player with a shot at the NBA. That meant losing body fat, dropping weight, getting faster and more explosive. Since December of 2016 when I started training with P.H.A.S.E. 1 Athletics, I’m down 20 pounds and I’m able to move athletically on the court better than ever!” – Ryan Berg
The Journey of An Elite 1 is filled with many pitfalls and hurdles. Congratulations RyanBerg on continuing to navigate them successfully. P.H.A.S.E. 1 Athletics has be proud to assist you along the way!
Wayne Dawkins is the Founder of P.H.A.S.E. 1 Youth Association in Toronto, Canada and CEO of P.H.A.S.E 1 Athletics based out of Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former NCAA basketball player with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and a concentration in Sociology. For over 25 years Wayne's has assisted hundreds of student-athletes and professional athletes on their journey to achieving their greater goals through the development of community teams, programs, and events to facilitate their needs.