Dan Majerle probably sees a little bit of himself as he intently monitors Grand Canyon basketball practice on a daily basis.
It’s only natural when the head coaches’ nephew is often setting the tempo of the workouts.
It doesn’t take long to spot 6’3, 190-pound junior guard Ryan Majerle on the floor and the resemblance to his uncle who’s legendary around these parts. How the two have re-connected in Phoenix is quite a story.
“My brother [Steve] is a high school coach back in Michigan,” Dan Majerle explained to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a recent phone interview. “[Ryan] won a state championship his senior year. Signed with the University of Toledo, played really well as a freshman. My older brother has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s [disease]-got it rather young. [He] started to have some health issues while Ryan was at Toledo so Ryan made the decision, which was really commendable, to move back home.”
Home was Rockford, Michigan a short 30-minute drive from the city of Allendale and Division II Grand Valley State University where Ryan would continue his playing career while keeping a close watch on his father’s health. Majerle led the Lakers in three-pointers made two seasons ago, averaging just under eight points a game.
Eventually Steve’s condition would improve and Dan approached Ryan about taking his education and game to the southwest. He sat out all last season as a redshirt and is eligible for his first game action when the ‘Lopes open their exhibition season Thursday night against Western New Mexico at GCU Arena.
“I said, ‘Ryan, why don’t you just come on out and play for me,'” Majerle told Cesmat. “You’re a Division I player. I’d love to coach you.”
It turned out to be a perfect opportunity for both who used to play rec-league summer games in Phoenix when Ryan was in high school.
“It’s a lot of fun for me to be able to coach my nephew,” he said. “What I really enjoy about him is he’s a tireless worker. I wasn’t always the most talented guy. I really had to outwork people. I see that in Ryan. He can really shoot the ball.”
Like I said…all in the family.