How former walk-on Braedon Bayer became Syracuse’s 1st guard off the bench

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ In Braedon Bayer’s mind, six weeks of 8 a.m. workouts with former Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon and associate head coach Adrian Autry meant he’d earned a walk-on spot. Or at least the right to ask whether he’d be on the team in the fall. He was, after all, sleeping on Lydon’s South Campus couch for summer 2016.“I didn’t have a place to stay,” Bayer said. “I thought I would be living in my car. That’s how much I was like, ‘Screw it. I want to be on this team.’”Lydon played AAU basketball with Bayer and convinced him to try to make the SU team from a Division III school in Iowa. One day in July 2016, after several weeks of tryout-like workouts, Bayer asked Lydon for a little more help. Bayer was unsure if he was on the team. Lydon walked into the office of then-head coach designate Mike Hopkins to find out.“I don’t know, let’s go ask,” Hopkins said, and they walked nearby to head coach Jim Boeheim’s office. Hopkins asked the same question to Boeheim, who looked up from a USA Today newspaper.“Yeah, he’s on the team,” Boeheim said nonchalantly, then went back to reading.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat’s when Bayer, a 6-foot-4 guard from Lagrangeville, New York, earned a walk-on spot. After redshirting last season, he has progressed all of the way to the brink of the Syracuse rotation, a rarity in Boeheim’s recently thin system. As the Orange (16-8, 5-6 Atlantic Coast) continues to play its pared-down lineup — former graduate transfer Geno Thorpe left the program, freshman guard Howard Washington is out for the year due to injury and freshman Bourama Sidibe battles tendinitis — production off the bench could come from an unlikely source: Bayer. While he has played only four minutes across four games this season, Boeheim has said Bayer will see playing time down the stretch.“Braedon’s pretty good,” Boeheim said last week, about a month after Bayer became a scholarship player.Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorTo Lydon, Bayer is more than pretty good. They met as high school sophomores and grew close while playing for the Albany City Rocks, Bayer said. When Bayer told Lydon he was not fully enjoying his time at Grinnell College — “I just couldn’t do the culture out there” — Lydon promised that he’d enjoy Syracuse. Lydon would do his best to help get Bayer a spot on the team, he recalled.During Grinnell’s 2015-16 season, Bayer applied to four schools, three of which had shown interest in him as a high school player: Bucknell, Binghamton and Fordham. He also applied to a longshot: Syracuse. He sent his application to SU in mid-December. He was accepted by New Year’s Day. He quit the Grinnell team and arrived at Syracuse in January 2016. He watched SU’s Final Four run that semester from his bed. Whenever he could, Lydon would invite Bayer for informal workouts, and they’d sometimes grab food together.By May, Lydon told Hopkins that Bayer “wasn’t just going to be a typical walk-on that’s just on the team. He said I could actually help,” Bayer recalled. Hopkins trusted Lydon’s word and didn’t ask Bayer for any film. Bayer impressed enough in summer workouts that he was added to the team.“It was awe-inspiring,” Bayer said of those first few practices. “Scary and nervous, you know? At Grinnell, I could miss and get my own rebound.”Around the Syracuse locker room, players have echoed variations of the same phrase: “Stay ready.” Bayer is caught in the in-between, being told his time could come any moment but rarely seeing it come to fruition. Players first heard “Stay ready” during the double-overtime loss at Florida State, where Bayer played about one minute. Players said it throughout the rest of January as a “running joke,” Bayer said.Boeheim said after the loss at Georgia Tech last week that he should have played Bayer. Bayer heard “stay ready” before the Virginia game, too. He didn’t play, though. He finally got in the game Monday night at Louisville, a crucial road victory, during which Bayer traveled with the ball in the lone minute he played, right before halftime.“Stay ready: That’s been the funny joke until this point,” Bayer said. “I’ve gotten in (at FSU), but I’ve been told ‘Stay ready’ every game since. All of the guys on the team are like, ‘Hey, stay ready. Hey, stay ready.’ I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m ready.’ Always working hard, having a goal.”Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorThat goal was once to play college basketball, almost regardless of level. The Ivy League was Bayer’s dream, but he wanted to attend a school where his parents didn’t have to pay. As a result, he turned himself into a gym rat and drive-first player, said Bayer’s former coach Kenny Dawson, a trainer in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Bill Casson, his head coach at Trinity Pawling (New York) School. Bayer considered the possibility of walking on at Colgate, Bucknell or Marist, but Grinnell’s head coach told him he thought he could break the all-time assists record in his high-octane system. Bayer was persuaded.Bayer’s father, Greg, joined him as an assistant coach at Grinnell. Because he had spent a decade surrounding Bayer’s basketball life, he thought, why not watch his son’s college career? Bayer scored 20 points his first game as a freshman and, after just a year and a half with the program, finished Top 10 in assists, Greg said. But when Lydon said he’d have a chance at a Power 5 school, Bayer couldn’t say no.Bayer is unproven, but he has shown he can match up with his scholarship teammates. He scored 10 points in 38 minutes during the Orange-White scrimmage. Many other walk-ons played fewer than five, he said. Afterward, Boeheim’s wife, Juli, told Bayer’s father, “O-M-G.” She had texted her sons, Cornell freshman Jimmy and SU commit Buddy, saying “how great Braedon is.”For much of this season, Bayer has played the opponent’s best high-post man in SU practices. He mimics what the opposition’s post player may do, giving SU starters an idea of what they might expect in the upcoming game. He said he has become more involved in five-on-five work during practice.His goal was to get into Syracuse, see if he could explore his options for the basketball team. Then his goal was to be a walk-on. Then it was to be a scholarship player. With those behind him, he has renewed his focus. It is to never forget his trek from Division III, and it is to give starting guards Frank Howard and Tyus Battle a reprieve, whenever that may be.“This goal,” Bayer said, “is coming true.” Comments Published on February 7, 2018 at 10:05 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img read more

Luckbox strengthens ID verification measures with HooYu partnership

first_imgShare Submit MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 Luckbox outlines final TSXV roadmap July 29, 2020 Share Luke Campbell, Champion Sports: Modular thinking most play the lead role in sportsbook migrations August 26, 2020 In another landmark move for the startup, Luckbox has entered into a partnership with ID verification specialists HooYu which will provide its esports customers with HooYu’s Identify solution. The move comes as Luckbox prepares for its full product launch, with the esports betting platform having recently been awarded a full gambling licence in the Isle of Man.HooYu’s Identify solution offers users the ability to implement customer age and identity verification measures, which will ultimately help Luckbox clamp down on underage gaming.Luckbox chief operating officer Quentin Martin commented on the new partnership: “From day one, we’ve made integrity, player security and doing things right among one of our top priorities at Luckbox and nowhere are these values more important than customer onboarding process.“The esports betting industry has long been plagued by shady operators acting with little or no regard for the rules or the safety of their players. This problem has been particularly acute regarding underage gambling – too many esports betting sites have allowed underage players to gamble and this is clearly unacceptable and something that needs to stop.“Thankfully, things are changing and Luckbox is proud to be among the operators leading the shift that will help legitimate operators, players and the wider esports industry.”The startup has been preparing for its April 2019 launch with a recent partnership announced between Luckbox and MoneyMatrix. Martin detailed that the EveryMatrix payment property has been selected for its ability to meet esports-betting customer and scale complexities. StumbleUpon Related Articleslast_img read more