Brian Rice was uncertain about college when he was a teenager. This uncertainty led Rice to turn down offers made from Division II schools and enlist in the United States Navy instead.
According to NBC Sports, Rice has now decided to go to college. After 25 years in the United States Navy, Rice is taking full advantage of Geneva College’s (Division III program) completion degree program.
Not only is he taking advantage of Geneva’s program, Rice is also making use of his basketball talent that initially landed him scholarship offers as a teenager.
Rice’s years of military service gave him the discipline that he felt was missing when he first enlisted. The military also helped the six-two guard show up in great physical condition.
Geneva’s head basketball coach Jeff Santarsiero said:
“[New Castle HS head coach] Ralph [Blundo] is telling me this guy is 43 years old and wants to play college basketball and I’m thinking, ‘what are the chances a 43-year-old man is going to be able to play on the college level?’ Ralph assured me he was in great shape and I should at least meet with him.”
Santarsiero was completely impressed with Rice right away. Not only is the six-two Rice in top physical shape but he has an engaging personality that enables him to relate to team full of players who are all young enough to be his son.
The Golden Tornadoes have played eight games so far, most recently falling 93-50 at the hands of Youngstown State on Thursday night, and are still in search of their first win of the season.
Rice has played in all eight of those games. He is averaging 6.4 minutes, 1.8 points, and 1.9 rebounds per game.
“He’s still learning the college game and what we do and it’s still early in the season. He’s getting better every day and he’s proving he can play at the college level. It takes time, though, and the fact of the matter is that he is a freshman.”
In Geneva’s loss to Youngstown State, Rice played 15 minutes. He finished that game with six points and three rebounds.
It certainly will be interesting to see how Rice progresses throughout the season as he earns himself even more playing time.