Five years goes by faster than one would expect.
Basketball is a sport McMaster guard Aaron Redpath grew up on. Playing street ball from the tender age of six and competitively two short years later, something about the game of basketball kept Redpath wanting more. Something about the sport made him yearn to play for the rest of his life.
“It always kept me humble, it was my stress relief,” said Redpath.
Surrounded by basketball players in both his family and circle of friends, Redpath played basketball through the years, and was an integral part of his high school basketball team.
When it came time for the Ajax native to decide where he would spend the next five years playing university basketball, McMaster was ultimately the choice. Despite looking at Division 1 schools in the United States, the academics and athletic facilities kept Redpath choosing close to home.
In the summer of 2011, Redpath was one of five players officially recruited to commit to Maroon.
In his first year playing for the Marauders, Redpath pushed to be stronger and bigger. “The physicality was different. It was a step up from high school,” Redpath admits.
Fast forward four years and the same student-athlete witnessed years ago has grown in leadership, maturity and confidence.
Five years playing in Maroon has allowed Redpath to be a more vocal leader. Anyone who has the chance to watch any games this season would think that was Redpath’s personality, as he was big on the court and always played with emotion. That self-assurance came from time, experience and being comfortable on the court.
While some players in Redpath’s recruiting class chose to leave McMaster Basketball for different reasons, it was important for Redpath to show loyalty to a program that has done so much for him.
Being part of a sports program for five years can be really testing. With incoming and outgoing players, the dynamic of a team changes. But how a player handles that change is telling of their character.
“I have never been the type of person to quit on things when it gets tough. I don’t see tough times as an opportunity to quit, but as an opportunity to get better,” said Redpath.
With those tough times and changes in the program, there has been a few aspects that have always been constant for Redpath.
One of those is Head Coach Amos Connolly.
“He has been pushing me all along. He has always talked to me about my potential. He has believed in me from the start,” said Redpath.
Redpath’s last game on Burridge hardwood will be one he will never forget, for more sour reasons than sweet. It was an OUA quarter-final game against Windsor Lancers that ended in a 78-79 loss. It was a game that hurt so much.
While that result was unfortunate, the focus moving forward is on the positive and the great moments they all shared together.
“The beauty of our team is that it is built like a family. We are able to pick each other up,” said Redpath.
Redpath has collected several accolades throughout his career in Maroon. He was named OUA all-star and all-rookie, made a CIS Final 8 appearance and recieved several Athlete of the Week nominations. Redpath is grateful for the experience being a Marauder has given him.
Now that he has hung up his #23 jersey, Redpath will look to take his talents professionally. Having basketball inspirations like Vince Carter and Lebron James, Redpath hopes to play the sport he loves for as long as he can on a bigger stage and in front of a bigger crowd.
Photo Credit: Jon White/ Photo Editor