Excitement grows in St. Henry ahead of UD alum’s return to TBT

ST. HENRY — With the start of the 2021 edition of The Basketball Tournament just days away, excitement has started to build in one part of the Miami Valley that is ready to watch a former Dayton Flyer standout return to the court.

>>University of Dayton Arena to host 2021 TBT Championship weekend

St. Henry native Ryan Mikesell is back in his hometown and is preparing to join the Red Scare, a team comprised of other Dayton basketball alums to compete for the $1 million prize in TBT. But since coming home, Mikesell said its hard to go unnoticed when he goes into public.

“I go to the gas station, the grocery store, people ask me what I’m doing. How was Germany, are you excited for the TBT stuff like that. Everybody is kinda still following me which is super unbelievable,” Mikesell told News Center 7′s James Rider.

“As a little kid you never would imagine you’re still playing basketball at 24.”

After five seasons with the Flyers, including playing a key role on the 2019-20 team that finished third in the country, Mikesell played last year in Tübingen, Germany for a team that competes in the second level of pro basketball.

Despite the six hour time difference, Mikesell said he stayed connected to last year’s Dayton Flyers team and watched as many games as he could.

“This past season when I was in Germany, I was setting my alarm in the middle of the night watching them play Memphis or when they played in the NIT or watched I think, you know I remember staying up for a game when they played VCU, Rhode Island, stuff like that.”

Mikesell said he learned a lot in his first professional season and there is something different about the game once you start getting paid.

“It was a great experience for me because professional basketball is a whole other level in terms of the attention to detail. Everybody is getting paid to play basketball over there so they take it very seriously so the attention to detail has to be at another level,” he said.

And getting paid is the ultimate goal of TBT.

The Red Scare will start TBT July 24 in Columbus with the hopes of making a deep enough run to make it into the finals, which is being hosted at UD Arena. Mikesell said he knows he’ll have the backing of his entire hometown heading into that first game and hopefully beyond.

“It’s a great feeling but I know the St. Henry community will be tuned on the 24th whenever we step on that court again,” he said.

After moving the 2020 TBT to Columbus, UD Arena will host the quarterfinals through the finals July 31 through Aug. 3. Last week, UD Arena officials announced there will be no capacity restrictions for the final rounds of TBT and tickets were still available.