The newest member of the basketball team at Algonquin College in Ottawa is known as “Old Man Dan,” and with good reason. He turns 39 next month.
The Ottawa Citizen has the incredible story of how Dan Stoddard, a full-time bus driver raising two teenagers and taking his classes online, decided to come out for the Algonquin Thunder squad.
In the spring, the 6'8" Stoddard weighed about 380 pounds when Algonquin’s coach, Trevor Costello, spotted him at a tournament and approached him about playing. Sixth months and 60 pounds later, Stoddard is on the team, having prevailed in a 55-man tryout.
Canadian college sports might not be on the same level we’re accustomed to in the U.S., but you have to admire what Stoddard has done. Getting yourself in shape is no easy task, let alone getting in good enough shape to keep up with guys half your age. The significance of his accomplishment is clearly not lost on Stoddard, who was overcome with emotion before the regular season even started.
“We played an exhibition game against last year’s national champs,” Stoddard told the Citizen. “I scored a basket, they called out my name (on a loud speaker) and I could have cried on the floor.”