Jan. 11, 2008
DeKalb, Ill. - His heart said yes, but his body said no.
After careful contemplation, Northern Illinois senior guard Ryan Paradise (Naperville, Ill./Central) decided that the pain from the numerous injuries that he has sustained throughout his tenure as a Huskie was too much to bear and hung up his No. 10 jersey on Friday.
"[Basketball has] been my life," Paradise wrote in his `Another Day In Paradise' blog on www.niuhuskies.com. "I have committed myself to this game, and playing is something I have loved with all my heart. I always understood that at some time it would end. I hoped when it did it wouldn't be because of injury.
"Well, I write today to let everyone know that due to injuries I have to stop playing the game I love."
Paradise, who appeared in 70 games and started in 26, averaged 6.7 points-per-game during his career as a Huskie. The Naperville, Ill., native suffered a broken nose that eventually required surgery in the Huskies' game against Stephen F. Austin on November 24, 2007, and missed NIU's last seven games.
In addition to the injury this season, Paradise missed a majority of his first two seasons as a Huskie due to a broken wrist and subsequent surgeries. Paradise earned his undergraduate degree in Corporate Communications this past December.
"Ryan came in and said it was a tough decision and he didn't think his body would hold up," NIU head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton said. "He's been having some pain in his wrists, knee and then after he broke his nose, he was having second thoughts about continuing to play basketball.
"Ryan graduated in December and did an excellent job to finish up academically," Patton continued. "We wish him nothing but the best."
ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE FINAL BLOG ENTRY
Another Day in Paradise has been more than just a blog for me...it's been my life for 23 years! I have been playing basketball since I was five, so as I reflect back, I remember a lot of gyms and a lot fun.
I have loved it all and now I certainly recognize how much I have benefited from being part of it. It's been my life, I have committed myself to this game, and playing is something I have loved with all my heart. I always understood that at some time it would end, I hoped when it did it wouldn't be because of injury.
Well, I write today to let everyone know that due to injuries I have to stop playing the game I love.
Many of you know some of the injuries I have had while I have been a Huskie, but what many don't know is the pain that I continue to have. My wrist has been bothering me for quite awhile and I have seen my doctor again and have been told that it is something that I will have to live with. I could go on about my knee, my achilles, and my shoulder but I trust you understand what I am trying to say.
I hurt physically and am just no longer able to put my body through the pain to continue to play the game I love. It's been a very tough decision process for me personally and I know I will always wish things would have been different, but I have thought about this every day since I have been out with the broken nose and I know deep down it is the right decision for me.
I`m just very disappointed that I am unable to help my team. It's very hard to watch when I know I could help my teammates in battle. That is how I feel and I want everyone to know I want
nothing more than to play. I just want you to know I can't.
I mentioned that I have learned so much about life from basketball and I have. I have learned how to commit, compete, to work together, leadership, strategy, time management skills, travel, but most importantly I have learned to overcome obstacles. I have some wonderful memories throughout my career at NIU, from the tournament in Hawaii my freshman year, to the Cavaliers game, to the MAC West Championship. I have enjoyed my time with all my teammates and coaches and I know I have some relationships that will last a lifetime.
I want to thank Jim Phillips, Robert Collins, Coach Judson, Coach Armato, Coach Whiteside, Coach Shepherd, Coach Ray, Coach Harrington, Coach Patton, Coach Wicks, Coach Gates, Coach Anderson, and everyone else at Northern for giving me the opportunity to play college basketball and for everything they have done for me.
I also want to thank my family, friends, teammates, and doctors who have stuck with me through everything.
I'm not sure what the next step is from here, but it's time to start looking for a new challenge. I would like to end by saying thanks for cheering for me and supporting the Huskies. I really do appreciate it. Go Huskies!!!
Ryan Paradise #10
Northern Illinois (3-10, 0-1 MAC) returns to action on Sunday, January 13, as the Huskies welcome the University of Toledo for a 2 p.m. (CST) showdown at the NIU Convocation Center.