Rider senior Kevin Noon enjoying life as a walk-on
That’s Kevin Noon in a nutshell.
Noon got in the game that afternoon and had two open 3-point tries but missed both.
“He was up to one in the morning watching that tape,” Jones said.
Jones told his roommate to relax and play.
Noon agreed then told Jones he needed to get him in another game.
Four days later, the Broncs were up 30 against St. Peter’s and Noon got another chance.
He made it count, banking in a 3-pointer for his first collegiate points.
Did he call it?
Noon laughed, and then said, “I didn’t call the bank but for the sake of the story I will.”
When Noon arrived from Cherry Hill West High School he joined the men’s basketball program as a team manager.
Always a capable player, he earned the respect of his teammates over the years. During the summer his teammates approached coach Tommy Dempsey about allowing him to dress for his senior season as a walk-on.
That triggered a conversation between Dempsey and Noon with both coming to the conclusion that Noon should dress in his final year.
“As a senior, I decided to put him on the team as a walk-on and he could be a little bit more a part of it than he was as a manager,” Dempsey said. “He comes in, works hard every day, does well in school and is a good role model. It has been a win-win both for us and for him.”
Noon said he was surprised at first and felt bittersweet about leaving his post as a manager.
He knows best who the unsung heroes in college basketball are.
“The managers do a lot of the behind the scenes work the people don’t see,” Noon said, also admitting sometimes he forgets he doesn’t have to set up the chairs or fetch water. “They are here every day in practice and are as dedicated as any one of the players. They do a lot of the stuff that helps the season run smoothly. They allow the coaches to focus on coaching and the players to focus on playing.”
But it was also a dream of his to play college basketball. He wants to coach on the college level after he graduates at the end of the semester and having the chance to add player to his resume will only help. Once the opportunity presented itself, Noon couldn’t say no.
“I think this experience will help him as he chases his coaching career,” Dempsey said. “Even if you’re a walk-on, if your part of a Division I basketball team, that is something that is going to help him as he moves on with his life.”
But it’s hard for him not to smile when he thinks about walking out on Senior Day Sunday afternoon as a player and not a manager.
“To be able to walk out as a player on Senior Day,” Noon said, “is something that is going to be really special to me and something I’ll never forget.”
And he will always have that shot.
“I was glad it fell,” he said followed by a bit of a pause.
“Even if it banked in.”