Notre Dame senior swingman Ryan Ayers blogged for Irish Insights during the Irish's summer trip to Ireland. Well, Ayers is back blogging over in this little corner of the Internet and Insights thanks him for taking the time. This is Ayers' first entry of the 2008-09 season.
Notre Dame fans, how is everyone? I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and soaking in all the college hoops action. Allow me to reintroduce myself; I am Ryan Ayers, a senior member of the Notre Dame Men's Basketball team. I want to first thank Mike Rothstein for giving me the opportunity to share with you all our experiences as a team this year.
Well, to start off, a little background information on myself. I am from Blue Bell, Pa, which is suburb outside Philadelphia. Though, I am originally from Columbus, Ohio, my father is a basketball coach so my family moved to Philadelphia when he received a job with the Philadelphia 76ers. I am a marketing major here at Notre Dame, and have really enjoyed my time here. What I really want to mention is why I came here to Notre Dame. It basically comes down to my teammates. The guys I interact with on a day-to-day basis have been my best friends. We truly are brothers, and I don't think we would be anywhere as a team if we didn't care so much about each other.
I want to start off by mentioning my roommates, who really make me who I am. I am fortunate to live with three of my best friends. I live with Kyle McAlarney, Zach Hillesland, and Kieran Piller, who we all consider to be the 15th member of our team. Kieran played for Notre Dame in the '06 and '07 seasons. Kieran is a character in himself. When you first meet him, he is the quiet, keep to yourself type of person. Oh boy, once he opened up to us, we all realized that he is the most opinioned person we have ever met. He makes our little house interesting everyday. He probably is the easiest guy to talk to about anything. Guys use him as a sounding board about anything, and he is definitely not shy about giving his advice. Be prepared for many stories involving Kieran antics in the future.
Kyle has been my roommate for the past three years. We have had some unbelievable times together. Living with Kyle has been interesting. He is the type that wakes up at 6 a.m. after falling asleep with the TV on high volume. Me on the other hand loves to sleep in and needs total silence when sleeping. So it has been an adjustment living in the same room as him, but a good one. Luckily, we have our own rooms this year. What everyone loves about Kyle is how easy he is to talk to, and that I think that goes for every one of my friends. A very humble kid, Kyle works for everything he gets. Though he is a jokester too, he is often initiating pranks. The thing about Kyle is that he is serious about his basketball, but I think what is cool about him is that he loves politics, history, and his new fix, the Discovery channel.
Lastly, Zach (Z) is the most down to earth person I know. He is always the first person I call and text. He is very honest, sometimes too honest, but that's what we love about him. He is the best guy to share something with, like go to the mall, movies, and dinner. He has a vast knowledge of pretty much everything, and he for sure will tell you about it. He might be too intelligent for his own good. He keeps the team, especially me, on his toes with his personal comedy. Every year he is voted "funniest" on the team and he sure does not fail to entertain. For example, his impressions of Coach Mike Brey and our Assistant Coach Rod Balanis are scary good.
Our apartment is filled with jokes, laughter, and we are constantly arguing over basketball, movies, girls, school, politics, and other gossip. And not necessarily in that order…but there are many stories to help you all get a better grasp of who we are that I will explain later, along with further descriptions of the other guys on the team.
Basketball wise, we have been practicing hard and really trying to get better before the Big East season. I feel everyone is coming into their own, and knows what it takes for us to be successful the rest of this year. We played Savannah State this Monday before we go home for Christmas. It was important for us to end this segment of the season on a good note before heading home.
Now for Christmas, everyone is really excited. Most guys are asking for clothes or sneakers. Some guys on our team are obsessed with sneakers, I think they call them "sneakerheads," but Tyrone Nash, Tom Kopko, and Jonathan Peoples cannot stop talking about the latest "kicks" they are getting for Christmas. These three are constantly trying to one up each other on who the best is at whatever the argument may be about that particular day. Obviously, I provoke their confrontational behavior, because their arguments are so unnecessary, but hilarious. I think the best Christmas gift so far is Tim Abromaitis's new SUV. His parents surprised him last weekend with the gift. So if any parent can top that this year, I am sure we will all be impressed.
Lastly, I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday! This should be an interesting year, with a lot happening and I hope readers enjoy.