Andrew Baron: Relishing the opportunity

Kristian Hlldebrandt picking up teammate Andrew Baron. - Brian Jones Photo

Kristian Hlldebrandt picking up teammate Andrew Baron. – Brian Jones Photo

Around this time two years ago, Andrew Baron was averaging less than 10 minutes per game for the Douglas College Royals. He was a rookie on a team with an abundance of third and fourth-year players, and he was nervous.

After graduating from Elphinstone Secondary in 2008, Baron spent three years unsure of what direction he wanted to steer his life into. He knew that he wanted to play basketball at the collegiate level. He also knew that he was very capable of doing so after a stellar career at Elphinstone.

But life has a way of, well, getting in the way.

Then, in the summer of 2010, Baron contacted Denis Beausoleil – the newly-hired basketball coach at Douglas. That correspondence turned into informal summer league games. Those runs in August translated into tryouts, and those tryouts manifested into a spot on the roster.

But it was quickly realized that wearing a jersey and having his name inked on the pregame programs didn’t guarantee any sort of smooth sailing.

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PacWest Preview: Douglas College Royals

Andrew Baron leads a young group of Royals into 2013-14.  - Brian Jones Photo

Andrew Baron leads a young group of Royals into 2013-14. – Brian Jones Photo

Regular-season record: 8-13

Provincial tournament: 4th place

Key returning players:

  • Andrew Baron (3rd year)
  • Kristian Hildenbrandt (2nd year)
  • Ethan McKean (2nd year)
  • Tom Ghag (2nd year)
  • Mike Blaauw (2nd year)

Key losses:

  • Mark Dabrowski
  • Devan Haynes (Kwantlen)
  • Dustin Egelstad (Kwantlen)
  • Harpreet Randhawa
  • Daniel Kim (Langara)

Rookies:

  • Grant Campbell
  • Sylvester Appiah
  • Bradyn Norris
  • Akim Zongo
  • Jacob Juras
  • Harbir Phool
  • Karun Samra
  • Pavan Leeho

It’s not too hard to think back and reminisce about the year 2008.

Kanye West was beginning his affinity with auto-tune, Obama was beginning his first term as POTUS, the one kid in your school with an iPhone 3G was a king, and the Douglas College Royals had just finished putting together one of the most dominant seasons in CCAA history.

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