Tenacity and perseverance pay off.
Just ask Marshall McLuhan shooting guard Dave Bayubay who, after being cut from his Grade 6, 7 and 8 basketball teams at St. Thomas Aquinas, has become the anchor of the Rebels starting lineup.
There’s a reason for his drive, and it made him make a snap decision at the age of 11 to switch from soccer to basketball: Someone close to him died of cancer.
Rene Reusen, Bayubay’s 27-year-old cousin, suffered through the illness.
Before his death, though, he raised Bayubay’s awareness of the sport he would come to love.
“He was the person that showed me basketball,” Bayubay says, his voice low but pointed. “That’s when I quit soccer, and I tried out for the basketball team because of my cousin.”
Once he got to Marshall McLuhan CSS, he caught the eye of coach Robert Brohman, who was the first coach to take him on the team.
“He was one of those kids in Grade 9 and 10 who was a bit of a joker, and then in Grade 12 he developed into more of a leader and setting the standards for the guys,” he said, in an interview. “There’s been a big change watching him develop over three years.”
To wit, Bayubay has improved his inside game greatly, attacking the hoop and not just relying on his perimeter game.
What also makes the 17-year-old such a coachable player for Brohman is his personality.
“He likes to have fun,” he said. “You have to understand that as a coach — he’s often laughing and smiling, and that’s just his temperament.
“It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. He’s passionate and wants to do well, but he likes to have fun when he’s playing.”
Bayubay’s passion permeates the phone line. He shares his disappointment with the Rebels ousting in the TDCAA semifinals at the hands of Monsignor Percy Johnson. But he puts emphasis on coming back for a fifth year to lead the Rebels into a strong finish for the 2014-15 campaign.
“Marshall McLuhan isn’t known as a basketball school, so I’m going to try and my team in the hope that anyone can actually see me,” he said, adding he wants to earn a scholarship to play hoops south of the border.
That is good news for Brohman.
“You’ve got our best three-point shooter coming back: A guy who has led us in most games in points, a guy who, if he were to continue to grow as a leader, would have a wonderfully positive effect on the juniors coming up,” he said.