March 14th, 2019

Bellarmine's Daniel Ramser a Stand Up Athlete


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

Bellarmine's Daniel Ramser a Stand Up Athlete
Daniel Ramser was named MVP at the GLVC Tournament/ photo by Ed Peak

Daniel Ramser laid on the Knights' Hall floor wreathing in pain. His hyperextended right knee ballooned to the twice its size. He was helped off the floor by the medical staff.

This was February 2nd in a game with Southern Indiana. Bellarmine would begin a three game losing streak with one of its leaders sidelined.

More importantly when a senior graduate student is injured this late in the season thoughts about their playing career ending becomes reality.

Not for Ramser, a 6-foot-5 guard from Trinity High School, who played on a BU Final Four team two seasons ago. 

Ramser is a quick healer. He rejoined the Knights again on February 21 in a win against the University Indianapolis. The captain returned and didn't miss a beat.  The Knights won six of their last seven, the only loss to regional No. 1 seed and host Lewis, 63-62. What Ramser did this past weekend you can't make up or even dream. An inventory on what took place Sunday in a matter of hours.

Bellarmine (26-4) won three games in three days to win the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in Evansville. Ramser had a stellar tournament earning Most Valuable Player on a team of MVP's according to him. Ramser averaged 12.3 points, modest numbers.

But his statistics were outstanding. Field goals 14 of 26 including six of 11 three point shots, 11 of 15 free throws, nine assist and 11 rebounds.

The game and celebration was over about 30 minutes when he received a text from Paul Najjar, long-time Louisville Catholic Sports writer and broadcast coordinator. Najjar's text said Trinity had won and were state champions.

"I got a text from him (Najjar) congratulating us and that they (Trinity) had won," said Ramser. "It was whenever I got done celebrating with the team."

What are the odds of all these things happening in such a short period of time, especially when you might think your career is over. Ramser never said he thought about his career being over, but it crossed his mind.

"When it happens, I panicked a little bit," said Ramser. "I was worried because that was late in the season. You worry and think the worst. I'm just glad to be playing with these guys again."

Ramser gave credit to the medical staff led by trainer Brad Bluestone. "The training staff did a good job getting me ready," said Ramser. "It's frustrating a little bit. I'm just glad to be back playing."

Ramser said someone rolled into his knee that caused a deep bone bruise and a slight fracture. "Nothing too bad to keep me out for too long."

Bellarmine coach Scott Davenport said that Ramser was his own steady self in the tournament in all phases. He really didn't do anything different just excelled in what he does.

"He did what all great players do and that's take advantage of the opportunity that's put in front of you," said Davenport. "If he's open, he shot. He defended.

"People don't understand unless you are really inside the game; Daniel Ramser has been a phenomenal basketball player here or he wouldn't be a captain. He wouldn't be the type of student he is. He will graduate this coming December with his MBA. He's done everything right as a player, as a teammate, and as a student. So, why would you not think great things would happen for him?"

A Finance Major, Ramser, has accepted a position with Churchill Downs Inc. when he graduates. He will rotate between different divisions during his two year stint. "I'm excited for that," said Ramser. "I have a couple more semesters of my MBA and then I'll be finished with that."

Ramser said he made it to a few Trinity games this season and has continued a relationship with Coach Mike Szabo.

"I'm real happy for Coach Szabo and the team," said Ramser. "I had the pleasure my junior year of going to Rupp to win it all. That was a great experience. I'm just happy for that team. It's really special for those kids and coach Szabo and that coaching staff.”

Ramser and Bellarmine have their sights on six more games, three in the region at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, beginning Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (EDT). Walsh College of Ohio is its first opponent.

"I was just proud of our guys (conference tournament). We had three tough games in a short amount of time. We really dug in. I was really proud of our defense in all three of those games. The coaching staff really got us prepared in a short period of time."

Walsh (24-7) located in North Canton, Ohio beat host Findlay 58-52 in overtime on March 9 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament. The Cavaliers have won 13 in a row and won their first conference tournament since coming to Division II.

J T Shumate led Walsh with 16 points while Sterling Christy had 13 rebounds.

"I'm just worried about Walsh," said Davenport. "There is still a lot of unclaimed gold out there in front of us. The greatest goals that are ever set come from within, not the coaching staff; it comes from them. They know what they are out there to do."

It won't be a dream for Ramser and his Bellarmine teammates if they do advance to another Elite Eight.



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