This 40 Year-Old Former Bus Driver Hopes To Play For The NBA As He Plays College Basketball With Kids 20 Years Younger
Dan Stoddard is a 40 year-old man from Ottawa, Canada who still has big dreams. A sophomore at Algonquin College, he plays basketball for the Algonquin Thunder, and he dreams of one day playing for the NBA!
Standing at 6ft 8in, Dan is the tallest member of the team, and he has managed to juggle 5am training sessions with 12 hour shifts driving a bus for the city. All of this has been worth it to Dan, who remembers hearing snickers from the opposing team when he first took the court for a game.
“People think it’s a big show,” Dan said. “I’m going to try to defy that. To change that view. For those that love the game, they understand in a way what I am trying to do. For those that don’t, they are snickering and laughing, maybe next year we beat them and the snickers stop. That’s the plan.”
“All Dan cares about is getting better and better,” said Trevor Costello, the team’s head coach. “This f****r is constantly in pain. He’s just so dedicated. He sprained his ankle before last Christmas, and after a 12-hour shift driving a bus, his foot down on the ground the whole time, his foot was the size of a watermelon.”
Dan acknowledges that his lofty goals sound crazy to most, but he’s not letting this hold him back.
“You can call it lunacy,” he said. “I’m not saying I’ll make the NBA or go play overseas, but I want to get to a point where I can do it. So what if it happened at 42? Who gives a s**t. I’ve always said age is a number, but that’s bulls**t.”
“We all know it’s old, especially when it comes to basketball,” Dan added. “But if you can play, you can play, and I just want to have the definitive answer, to have someone tell me I don’t have the talent to make it at the highest level. It’s just to know. The reality is that when growing up, you see the NBA, and that’s where you want to be. It’s the best, and you strive for the best. You don’t just want to be the guy no one remembers. That’s all I’m trying to do.”
Dan married his wife Amanda when he was 20 years-old, and after having two children, he worked various different jobs to support his family. In recent years, he had also started playing local basketball tournaments with a team of guys his age, which is how he caught the attention of Coach Trevor Costello.
Trevor was so struck by Dan’s talent that he invited him to try out for the team, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Dan has had some impressive stats since joining the team, averaging 6.4 points and five rebounds per game his sophomore season, and his field goal percentage is fourth-best in the conference at 54.7.
“If I’m not talented enough, I can live with that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to put in the effort to be the best player I can be,” Dan said. “I don’t want to be wasting time hemming and hawing thinking about it.”
Dan has also earned the respect and admiration of his much younger teammates.
“I told him it was an honor to play for him,” one player said. “I know people out there are scared of the risks to pursue their dreams. He is a hero in my eyes. This doesn’t happen every day.”