Page 2 of 2   <      

Danny Rubin goes from Landon to Boston College walk-on to ACC starter

Boston College's Danny Rubin, left, has made a startling transformation of his game since the end of the high school season last year. (AP Photo/The (Boston) Globe, Jim Davis)
Boston College's Danny Rubin, left, has made a startling transformation of his game since the end of the high school season last year. (AP Photo/The (Boston) Globe, Jim Davis)
  Enlarge Photo    

Rubin, meanwhile, was in a bind. Shortly thereafter, though, Rubin got a phone call from Donahue. The Eagles had an open roster spot for a walk-on. Would Rubin want it?

Rubin's answer came quickly, because playing basketball at an ACC school with a quality academic reputation was what he called "almost like a dream come true."

"Everything pretty much aligned up perfectly," he said. "I just kept working hard and it worked out for me."

Rubin's body went through even more transformations when he began training with Boston College's strength and conditioning staff last summer. Though he hasn't added much weight to his 170-pound frame, Donahue said it was clear once preseason practices began that Rubin was "more ready to play college basketball."

Still, though, walk-ons rarely play, let alone during their first year. But perhaps Rubin's biggest stroke of luck came from playing for Donahue, a coach who never had scholarship players during his 20 years in the Ivy League and who therefore is a proponent of rewarding players who practice the best.

"He's opened my eyes," Donahue said of Rubin. "It still took me a couple of months in practice and into the regular season [to realize] that he was someone we could utilize. . . . Just because Danny was a walk-on and all these other guys played three years, I'm watching him in practice. He knows our system. He's smart enough to know what he can do. And he's helped our basketball team."

Rubin is averaging 5.5 points but plays more than 20 minutes most nights.

He's shooting a team-best 44.4 percent from three-point range for a Boston College squad squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble at 14-8, 4-4 in the ACC.

The highlight of his season so far came in December, when he scored nine points in a win over Maryland at Comcast Center. Many of his high school friends were already back in town for winter break and got to see firsthand what a dramatic rise he'd made in such a short amount of time.

Luther has begun using Rubin's story as a lesson for his current players who aspire to play in college.

He hopes they understand "Danny made this possible for himself" by essentially starting his first year of college basketball as soon as his high school season ended.

Rubin, too, has spoken with several Washington area seniors who are now in a similar situation as he was last spring.

But even he's still trying to fully digest just how far he's come in the past year.

"It's been awesome. I couldn't have expected much more than I've gotten," Rubin said. "I haven't had much time to think about it just because the season's been coming so fast and I'm really focused on what our goals are for this year. But I realize how great of an opportunity this is for me. It just goes to show hard work really does pay off."


<       2

© 2011 The Washington Post Company