The University of Calgary-Mount Royal University rivalry might have a little extra spice this year, thanks to Dinos men’s basketball guard Nate Petrone.
Petrone is in his first season with the Dinos after spending two years playing for the Mount Royal Cougars.
“I have nothing bad to say about Mount Royal, it was a great experience for me,” he says. “But going to the Dinos has allowed me a few more opportunities than I would’ve had and the experience has been amazing so far.”
Despite departing amicably, Petrone expects there will be extra motivation on both sides when they match up in January.
“They’re going to want to beat us extremely bad, and I’m going to want to beat them extremely bad,” he says. “Those are games people are going to want to tune into.”
His Dinos debut was a year in the making, as U SPORTS rules require transferring students to take a season off. Petrone says this was an advantage for him, however, as it allowed him to get a feel for the school and the kinesiology program which he transferred into.
The competitor in him still wanted to be on the court, though.
“When you’re on the sidelines watching, it’s definitely a struggle,” Petrone admits. “It was a long year, but I think it’s paid off.”
Now able to suit up for the Dinos, Petrone gets to return to the sport his family loves, with his father and brother also playing university hoops. He credits his dad for instilling a lot of values in him through the game of basketball.
“It’s that toughness, that not complaining, just that hard work mentality which I’m extremely grateful for,” he says.
It’s a hard worker that fans will see when they come to see Petrone on the court.
“My role on the team is to put the ball in the basket at an efficient rate and to compete non-stop,” he explains. “There should never be a time in the game where I have my foot off the gas.”
Petrone likes to play with a little bit of swagger and a lot of intensity, talking with the other team and getting the crowd involved in the game.
It’s a great set of traits to bring to a team that wants to win a national championship.
“That’s the number one goal, we’re going to take it day by day and enjoy the process, but at the end of the day we want to be the ones raising that trophy,” Petrone says.
Petrone is hoping as many people as possible will come out to support the team in an ultra-competitive Canada West conference.
“I really hope people come out and watch our games because we have a really good team this year,” he says.
“When the crowd is loud, it brings us to a whole other level.”