Making the adjustment from his middle school Valley Park to the halls of Marc Garneau CI was a tough task for Rahmtullah Tarin.
“The first time I got on the court it was a lot different,” said the 16-year-old whose junior squad finished the season at 6-4. “The atmosphere, the playing time and how long the games were.”
Once Tarin got past his opening night jitters in the winter of 2010, he became a strong force on the Cougars roster.
“You could see that this kid could play and he wasn’t playing with nervousness or anything. He was very confident,” said coach Paul Hillman. “Not that he wouldn’t make any mistakes but he’d learn from them, so by the end of it he was our starting point guard.”
Tarin says it was his teammates who calmed him.
“I learned using your teammates is way more useful, not that I didn’t use them,” he said. “Before I was trying to develop my game.
“I kind of didn’t pass and over the years, I have learned how to use my teammates more.”
Tarin touts his family as the most important team in his life. He’s the fourth in a family of five children. His older brother, Rasiuallah, got him on the hardwood at age four and Rammy, as his closest friends know him, has grown his love for basketball.
His parents, Nafisa and Abdullah, encourage their son’s athletics as well.
“They especially tell me to stay with sports because it kind of gets you away from everything that’s not good,” he said.
His older siblings have also encouraged his love of academics, as Tarin admits he has a liking for math. It helps on the court too, as it helps him simplify the obstacles on the court.
“If you think of something that’s going to be useful and simple, to make everything simple, (it’s math),” he said.
His next logical obstacle is getting a starting job on the senior boys team next winter.
“It’s going to be hard for me because I’m not the tallest person,” he said. “So I’m going to try to develop my play against taller people.”
Hillman doesn’t see any trouble with that.
“He plays bigger than he is and part of it is because of his vertical, he just hangs in the air,” said the coach. “You’ve got a kid like that who is going to have two or three years to bring the team together and continue to grow.
“We’ve got a couple of senior players who having him in the line up will make them better because we haven’t really had the point guard who can do all those things: shoot, pass, score and make the team better.”