By Kate Ferrell
New junior Robbie Beran (‘19) is the talk of the town these days. At a whopping 6’9”, he catches the eye of many passersby as he makes his way around Collegiate’s campus. Due to his bashful nature, only a handful of people know him outside of his reputation of being a gifted basketball player.
Beran re-classed when coming to Collegiate this year from Tucker High School in Henrico. While there, he served as the class president three years in a row, a member of the honor societies, and a peer mentor to middle schoolers and 9th graders. When transitioning to Collegiate, he claims “the first few weeks were definitely a change— both academically and just in terms of finding my way in a place where I didn’t know anyone.” Luckily, Ayinde Budd (‘19), having first sought out Beran out of pity for being the “new kid,” is now one of Beran’s closest friends. Budd was new to Collegiate in 8th grade, and, like Beran, he also re-classed this past year, so the two have bonded over the idea of maximizing their opportunities by attending high school an extra year.
Aside from the fact that Beran is on the same academic track at Collegiate as if he had stayed at Tucker, classes at Collegiate were not as drastic of a change as Beran was expecting. As he claims school is taken very seriously in his household, finding balance between sports and school was no problem. “I think that there can be times where [balancing school and sports] is challenging, but I don’t like to stress about a lot of things. Starting from a young age, my parents stressed A’s before B’s [as in basketball], so I have always been taught to put that before anything else.”
Likewise, he knew Collegiate was the right place for him after learning about its strong academic and athletic programs. While it was difficult leaving his friends and established roles at Tucker, he found it to be the perfect time to reclass, allowing himself another year to find himself academically as well as more time for his body to develop for basketball. He hopes to one day fulfill his dreams of playing hoops in college.
Beran has received offers to play basketball from eight schools, including James Madison University, Columbia University, Lafayette College, and Virginia Military Institute thus far. After participating in a travel league during the summer, Team Richmond Garner Road, he began communicating with coaches from Division III colleges and is currently receiving offers from Division I schools around the country.
Interestingly enough, Robbie is not stressed by the recruiting process. “I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, because I have time. I am enjoying going through the process, because I don’t have any specific dream school in mind.”
Even when playing Collegiate’s rival, St. Christopher’s School, Beran didn’t seem to display one ounce of nervousness during the game. “No matter who we are playing, there is no stress when I’m in the zone, and I feel so comfortable when on the court so I can focus on performing as a team.”
Varsity basketball teammate and co-captain T Brewer (‘18) describes Beran as “a very unselfish player, a great shooter, and an excellent leader on and off the court. The team always looks to him for direction, trusting in his ability to see the court and assessing what to do based on the situation.” Another varsity basketball teammate and co-captain Jack Wyatt (‘18) adds that “Robbie is a great shot blocker and rebounder. We play great together and always look for each other on offense. He’s a great passer, and he knows my strengths. He’s a great addition to the team and a crucial reason why our record this season is 17-3.”
Varsity boys basketball coach Del Harris claims that “Robbie is a very unselfish, hard-working, team-oriented player who has fit in well with his team and school. He’s very fortunate to have eight Division I offers. However, his humble and team-first demeanor is his focus.”
Beran also knows exactly how to get the crowd roaring, with slam dunks and dangling onto the rim for a few extra seconds just to add excitement in the crowds. Anna Catherine Martin (‘18) declares that “Whenever Robbie dunks, the entire student section goes wild because it’s a completely different side of Robbie that we don’t normally see at school, due to his reserved disposition.” His legacy from Tucker has carried to Collegiate, earning him All Conference two years in a row—1st team his junior year and 2nd team his sophomore year.
If you have yet to meet Beran, when you do ask him about his love for video games or maybe his five dogs; you just might be surprised by his dry sense of humor and fun personality when you get to know him.
Featured image credit: Delmar Harris.