Junior Ryan Montgomery looks to bring the men's basketball team to the top as postseason play approaches quickly.

A game day routine for this player consists of eating Fazoli’s, drinking a nice smoothie from Smoothie King and catching a quick cat nap before the big game. For junior digital media major Ryan Montgomery, his defensive skills have allowed him to be a key player on the Flames basketball team.

Basketball was not where Montgomery started honing his athletic skills, as his original passion was baseball. However, when an opportunity to pursue basketball arrived his junior year of high school, Montgomery could not pass up the life-changing chance.

Montgomery originally planned on attending and playing basketball for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but when their head basketball coach, Will Wade, left the school, Montgomery set his sights on Lee University.

“Coach [Cole] Rose has been on me since I was a sophomore in high school…so I came and tried out, and I got offered,” said Montgomery. “Lee has really taught me a lot.”

With two seasons of college basketball under his belt, Montgomery has been improving each game to become the best player possible.

“I think I have been a great defensive player for my team, giving them the confidence they need to get stops,” said Montgomery. “My three-point shot isn’t the best right now, but everybody knows I can knock it down. I just need to have confidence in myself.”

This year’s season has not been easy, as the Flames have faced losses in many games with tough teams. However, for Montgomery, losing is a part of improvement and the Flames have proved that.

“[After a loss,] I watch the game over and see what I could have done better for the team, as well as talk to the guys,” said Montgomery. “[There are] five games left in the season, [and I am looking forward to] everyone playing hard and working together.”

Looking toward the future, Montgomery is hopeful to continue his basketball career beyond college.

“My dream is to go overseas and play basketball. Hopefully that will happen, but if not, I want to be a basketball coach for middle or high school,” said Montgomery.

With a strong athletic drive and a passion for the game, Montgomery is a key player to the Flames basketball team and possesses talent and passion that will take him far.

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