BEEKMANTOWN — It took 18 minutes and 23 seconds, but was the product of four years of hard work.
After hitting the second of two free throw attempts midway through the third quarter, Keegan Ryan became the 66th player in Section VII to eclipse 1,000 career points in a 62-55 Beekmantown win over Saranac Tuesday in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference boys’ basketball.
Following an inbounds play underneath the Eagles’ (1-1) basket, Ryan performed a power dribble in the paint, which resulted in a foul.
The outcome — two chances from the charity stripe and a shot at history.
“I was shaking to be honest with you,” Ryan said. “I missed the first one in-and-out and the second one, I knew it was good once it left my hands.”
With arms raised and teammates and coaches offering congratulations, the 6-foot-7-inch center said he felt total elation.
“It was kind of like the culmination of all the hard work — the running, the weightlifting, the shooting; it brought back memories, so it was good,” Ryan said. “I knew that if I stayed healthy and I kept working, this is something that I would eventually get.”
Since statistics were first recorded in 1948, Ryan is now recognized as the fourth Eagles boys’ basketball player to reach the milestone. He joins Dan Munson (1999), Nick Fortunatus (1997), and older brother Thomas Ryan (2011), who concluded his career with 1,080 points.
“My brother told me, ‘welcome to the club,’” Ryan chuckled. “It feels good, but just to be named with that select group of players is such an honor.”
Beekmantown head coach Ryan Converse, who has coached Ryan during the entire duration of his varsity career, said the senior’s work ethic is unlike any other.
“He’s got a different engine than most,” Converse said. “I wish I had more guys that had the commitment and dedication he has because basketball isn’t something you can do from November through March and be good at it. He’s been in the weight room in the summer, played for a bunch of different travel teams, and worked on his quickness. He’s doing all the right things and that’s why he is where he is.”