Dream Team proves itself as more than just a practice squad

By Noah Torr | Broadcast Reporter

For many student athletes in high school, moving on to college can end your athletic career. Those Friday night lights quickly turn into late night study sessions and you become less acquainted with a sport or activity that used to be your passion.

It can be hard transition, but for one group of athletes at Baylor, they didn’t have to give up their passion completely.

The Dream Team, on paper, is a group of 25 men at Baylor that function as a practice squad for the Lady Bears basketball team. Their role is to be ready for anything they’re asked of in practice and for little to no incentives.

And despite the lack of player perks, some men stay on the squad for all four years and encourage others to join. Kaylin Rice, associate director of operations, said there are incentives within the experiences.

“The sense of being on a team, being at practice, being around the game of basketball,” Rice said. “They also get to develop great relationships with the coaches, players, and managers.”

The Dream Teamers are technically NCAA athletes. They have to sign the same paperwork, attend the same meetings as the Lady Bears and follow the same rules scholarship athletes have to follow. The Dream Team has been a part of the Baylor women’s basketball program since head coach Kim Mulkey was hired in 2000.

“You’re at a D1 school, you’re at a powerhouse school and you get to see everything they do every day,” said Coppell freshman Parker Rodman. “It’s pretty impressive too, everything that the girls do. You get a different perspective on it when you’re at every practice.”

And while their main purpose is a practice squad, many of the players say they don’t think of it as just going to practice every day.

“It’s kind of different because in high school we got tired of practice because it was every day but now I’m only here about three days a week,” said Memphis, Tenn., freshman Johnny Ruffin. “It’s something that I actually look forward to throughout [my] day.”