Walk-ons work to make difference for team

This year, the UVM men’s basketball team features three walk-on players: David Urso, Dylan Sinnickson and Nate Rohrer.

The players were not recruited by UVM, but chose to tryout for the team on their own.

“There could be a recruited walk-on or a walk-on as part of a tryout which is more rare,” said Alastair Ingram, the director of media relations and sports information.

Urso, a sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was recruited out of high school, but turned down lesser offers in order to fulfill his goal of becoming a Division I athlete.

“I got recruited by a lot of local schools in Pittsburgh, mostly Division II and Division III,” Urso said.

Although Urso had been in contact with UVM head coach John Becker before he tried out for the team, Becker had never really seen Urso play.

This made Urso question whether he would make the team.

“It was always a dream of mine to play Division I basketball,” he said.

This year, he may have a chance to prove himself.

With the team’s limited depth this year, Urso is looking to help the Catamounts any way he can.

“Pretty much whatever role I can fill,” Urso said. “We are a little light on guys this year so whatever I can do to help the team I will do.”

Redshirt sophomore Rohrer took a different route to UVM.

Before UVM, Rohrer played basketball at West Valley College in Saratoga, California. Although Rohrer was born in Burlington and raised in Underhill, Vermont, Rohrer moved to California where he played high school basketball.

Rohrer was late to be recruited because of an “ok” junior season in high school, he said.

“Out of high school I had some options to play but I was kind of late in the recruiting game,” Rohrer said. “I didn’t think I would be able to play college basketball so I decided to go to a junior college near my house back home to buy some time and play basketball for two more years.”

Rohrer’s decision to play junior college basketball paid off in August after a member of the UVM team quit.

Rohrer immediately contacted Becker. After joining the team for some workouts and pickup games, he completed his transfer to UVM and made the team.

Graduate student Sinnickson transfered to UVM this year after being a two-sport athlete at Middlebury College where he played both baseball and basketball.

Sinnickson will be in his final year of NCAA eligibility this season after he was granted an additional year due to a forearm injury his sophomore season at Middlebury.

This year, Sinnickson is expected to make an impact, especially in terms of rebounds at 6 feet 5 inches, as he plays out his final year of college basketball.

While they may not have made it to UVM the traditional way, these three players plan to make the most of their opportunities.

The three join a young team this year.  UVM has only one senior on the roster with Ethan O’Day.

The men’s basketball team finished last season with a record of 20-14 when they lost in the College Basketball Invitational’s semi-final round to the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

The men’s basketball team will open the season Oct. 31 with an exhibition game against Keiser University at Patrick Gymnasium.

The team’s regular season campaign will begin with an away game Nov. 13 against Eastern Michigan University.