By Aaron Blankenship | Images courtesy of Scott Dring
Aidan Dring stunned and impressed his coaches and teammates by returning to the Dublin Coffman basketball workforce’s beginning lineup in time for the Shamrocks’ season opener within the fall. lower than three months after present process mind surgical procedure.
Regardless of having his stamina severely weakened by 33 grueling radiation therapies that concluded simply days earlier than the beginning of his senior season, the capturing guard served as a lockdown defender and averaged 5 factors enjoying restricted minutes.
“It is nonetheless wonderful to consider what Aidan needed to combat simply to have the ability to come again to our workforce,” stated Coffman’s coach Jamey Collins, whose injury-plagued workforce completed 9-12 total. “First, he needed to undergo a scary and tough surgical procedure. Then he had over a month of radiation that took away his power and conditioning, and left him with a gasoline tank that emptied sooner than anybody else.
“However Aidan is a particular younger man from a particular household, and he gave each ounce of power he had day by day, and it was very rewarding to see him come again and contribute the best way he did.”
Feeling drained and annoyed on the conclusion of his senior season, Dring initially determined to cease pursuing his dream of enjoying faculty basketball.
However after Collins satisfied him to rethink, Dring shortly felt his aggressive itch return and agreed to renew visits to Division III faculty basketball applications.
It did not take lengthy for Dring to search out the fitting dwelling, as he made a verbal dedication to play basketball at Baldwin Wallace College on April 12.
“It is loopy to recollect every thing I have been by and I am so grateful that I would not have this chance with out the assistance of a variety of completely different individuals,” Dring stated. “It felt good to loosen up for some time as a result of I nonetheless wasn’t 100% (wholesome) on the finish of my senior season.
“However I had a protracted dialog with Coach Collins that made me rethink my resolution, and I spotted that I have been working in direction of this aim my complete life, and if I do not do it now, I could not have the ability to. do it later, and I used to be most likely going to remorse it.
“This feels good as a result of I’ve labored so onerous for this and I deserve it.”
After the basketball coaches of Coffman and athletic director Duane Sheldon made it recognized that Dring was trying to play faculty basketball, he was invited to go to Baldwin Wallace in early April.
Sheldon was Baldwin Wallace’s head coach from 2008 to 2015, main the Yellow Jackets to a 98-83 document in seven seasons.
“My go to to Baldwin Wallace was a extremely cool expertise,” stated Dring. “It is a very nice campus and I had lunch with their present gamers, and every thing there felt good.
“I am very grateful to my coaches, particularly Coach Collins, Coach Sheldon and (Coffman’s assistant coach) Tyrel Jackson, as a result of they taught me quite a bit in regards to the recreation and did quite a bit for me to get thus far.”
Dring was recruited by Baldwin Wallace head coach Tom Heil, who led the Yellow Jackets to a 101-70 document in seven seasons, after serving as Sheldon’s assistant for 5 seasons (2009-14).
Collins stated Heil is changing into a gem of a multifaceted chief and participant, after seeing Dring progressively recuperate over the summer season.
Not exhausted by his radiation therapies, Dring has continued to regain his potential to be a menacing defender who handles, distributes and shoots the ball with deft contact.
“(Heil) noticed Aidan once we performed at Baldwin Wallace final summer season when he was in his prime, and felt he was definitely worth the danger,” Collins stated. “After a little bit of a break, Aidan is trying like Aidan once more, and I really feel like Baldwin Wallace might be rewarded for his religion in him, as a result of he is among the best younger guys and teammates anybody can have.
“At first, I used to be joyful that Aidan was capable of fulfill his dream of enjoying faculty basketball. However once I noticed him play not too long ago and make a transfer on the court docket that reveals the true capabilities of him, I now assume this son of a gun has an opportunity to be a very good faculty participant that’s going to assist Baldwin Wallace. .”
Scott and Jenn Dring are extremely happy with their son, particularly after witnessing Aidan’s psychological and bodily power as his well being quickly deteriorated late final summer season.
Aidan had excessive expectations for his senior season, after averaging 8.1 factors and being named All League Second Crew and All District Honorable Point out whereas main the Shamrocks to a 12-7 document as a junior.
Nonetheless, Dring started having dizziness and nausea in August, and have become so unwell on the best way to a recruiting go to to Allegheny School in early September that he needed to abruptly return dwelling and go to the hospital.
That is when an MRI revealed that he had a big ependymoma tumor rising close to the underside of his brainstem. Ependymomas are uncommon cancerous tumors that begin within the mind or spinal wire.
Simply six days after the tumor was discovered, Dring underwent mind surgical procedure.
“After they instructed me they discovered a mass in her mind, it felt like an out-of-body expertise, I misplaced all management and began crying,” Jenn Dring stated. “Aidan was stoic, however he was afraid of dropping the life he knew and never with the ability to play basketball.”
On September 9, famend neurosurgeon Jeffrey Leonard eliminated the tumor from Dring’s mind throughout an eight-hour surgical procedure whereas Scott and Jenn spent their 21St. wedding ceremony anniversary praying for her son within the ready room.
Dring returned dwelling simply three days after his surgical procedure and stunned his teammates and coaches when he started attending Coffman’s open fitness center classes two days later.
Nonetheless, Dring needed to endure 33 consecutive days of radiation remedy therapies, starting in late October and ending on November 24, which severely depleted his power.
“What Aidan was capable of accomplish by coming again to our workforce was unbelievable, as a result of phrases cannot describe what it was wish to see him at his lowest level (of restoration),” stated Ryan Lynn, who has been Aidan’s associate. finest buddy since kindergarten and graduated from Coffman alongside him on the finish of Might. “It was surreal to have Aidan again on the court docket with us throughout our final open fitness center, as a result of not lengthy earlier than that, he could not even stroll.
“Aidan didn’t have the season he anticipated, however he contributed, and motivated us to wish to get the perfect out of ourselves day by day. There have been instances when a few of us weren’t feeling nicely as a result of we have been beat up or sick, however then we would see how onerous Aidan was enjoying after mind surgical procedure and he wasn’t even complaining in any respect, and that made all of us wish to observe in his footsteps.” .
Dring acquired reams of encouraging letters and tweets from numerous individuals, together with faculty coaches, highschool coaches and gamers on different groups.
Ohio State males’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann despatched Aidan a video message wishing him a speedy restoration and offered his household with three tickets simply behind the Buckeyes dugout to a house recreation.
A big neighborhood assembly was held in Aidan’s honor the day earlier than his surgical procedure, and his older brother, Tyler, drove dwelling from the College of Cincinnati to help his household throughout surgical procedure.
Liv Dring, a senior at Coffman and Aidan’s youthful sister, and her basketball teammates painted the massive boulder outdoors Coffman’s soccer stadium white. Coffman and Jerome college students had put inexperienced and gold handprints on the rock in a unified present of help for Aidan earlier than the Celtics and Shamrocks met in a soccer recreation on September 10.
A number of Coffman soccer gamers put Aidan’s No. 23 uniform quantity on his ankle strap earlier than enjoying with Jerome. And after the Shamrocks defeated the Celtics 49-42 in additional time, Coffman’s gamers posed for a photograph in midfield with Liv, who held up a big photograph of her brother.
“The whole Central Ohio basketball neighborhood, and so many others, have been wonderful throughout this course of, and we’re so grateful for his or her help,” stated Jenn Dring.
Dring was cleared to start collaborating in full-contact practices as soon as once more in early November, and labored his approach again into Coffman’s beginning lineup because the season started.
Regardless of being additional drained by a lingering virus that lower him out of the beginning lineup for a number of video games in January, simply as his confidence was regaining and he was beginning to choose up pace, Dring continued to push himself in follow and within the classroom.
Dring scored a career-high 18 factors within the Shamrocks’ 66-56 loss to Hilliard Bradley of their regular-season finale on February 18, and was honored with the Scholar Athlete Award within the Ohio Capital Convention-Ohio Division for sustaining excessive tutorial and athletic requirements.
“I labored actually onerous, however I by no means bought my stamina again,” Dring stated. “I used to be at about 80 to 90 p.c of my earlier power stage for the primary two minutes of video games, however after that it could plummet to solely about 50 p.c, and I felt drained as I continued to run down the court docket. It was irritating.
“However my teammates gave me the power that I wanted to maintain going, as a result of they trusted me to play and be a pacesetter, so it was price 100% of all of the onerous work that I put in, as a result of I bought to play with these guys and be part of that workforce as soon as once more.”
Dring plans to main in sports activities advertising, with the aim of incomes a spot in Baldwin Wallace’s beginning lineup.
Jenn Dring stated her son has already confirmed to be an enormous success story, no matter what number of minutes he performs or what number of factors he scores for the Yellow Jackets.
“We’re so happy with Aidan,” Jenn stated. “The truth that he has achieved what he has achieved within the final 10 months is wonderful, it doesn’t matter what he does at Baldwin Wallace. We’re very lucky as a result of some households may have fallen aside beneath these circumstances, and I wish to be sure we by no means lose a way of gratitude for a way we bought by this and what we now have.”
Collins stated he will not be stunned to see Aidan proceed to excel at basketball to the following stage.
“During the last three weeks, Aidan’s power has come again and he is beginning to appear to be the all-league participant he was earlier than all of this occurred,” Collins stated. “He says quite a bit in regards to the character of the Baldwin Wallace present that they might nonetheless see the potential in him, and now we’re all very enthusiastic about the way forward for him.
“This was an emotional curler coaster of a season. I could not have shed extra tears for Aidan than I’ve already, however what’s particular is that the majority of them have been of pleasure quite than unhappiness as a result of Aidan has continued to pursue and obtain his desires.”