Donovan Finds His Spot at RWU

Brett Johnson, Sports Editor

Florida, Oklahoma and Rhode Island. Bryan Donovan has played basketball across the country, but has finally settled at RWU.

Originally from Gainesville, Fla., Donovan has been playing basketball since he was a toddler. He recalls shooting into a miniature net with his mom when he was about 2 years old.  

“Basketball is something I’ve always loved doing basically for as long as I can remember,” Donovan said.

He finished his high school career in Oklahoma when his dad took the head coaching job for the Oklahoma City Thunder. His senior year was plagued with knee surgeries, which was frustrating and tough for him.

In the August going into senior year, he tore his meniscus as a result of overuse and had surgery during that month. He realized something was wrong when the knee kept hurting and he was slowing down. He re-tore the meniscus and had to have a second surgery before returning to the game. 

He redshirted at Providence College for one year and then decided to find a school he could play at.

“[Providence College Head] Coach [Ed] Cooley was nice enough to allow me to walk on there for one year and get healthy. After that, I felt good and decided to go to a place where I could get playing time,” Donovan said.

Longtime friend, Gainesville-native and RWU basketball alum, Andrew Wasik, recommended Roger Williams to Donovan when he was looking to transfer.

“I got a chance to meet Coach [Michael] Tully and to meet the whole team. The first time I walked through here, I absolutely loved it,” Donovan, the 21-year-old communications major said. “I have confidence in myself, but I don’t think I’m a [Division] I player. I felt like I got a good experience that one year playing against D-I guys, but I feel like I’m right where I belong here.”

Since guard Nick Marini was a senior last year, Donovan didn’t get much playing time, but he used the time to learn and grow. Donovan studied Marini’s film during the summer to prepare for a more significant role this season.

“My job is just to help the team in any way or shape possible,” Donovan said. “So, some nights, [it might be] me passing, playing defense, or some games when we’re pressured, [I have to] be able to handle the ball. My job is just to go out there and play basketball.”

Through six games as of Nov. 25, Donovan is averaging 30 minutes and 6.7 points per game. But to him and his coaches, the points aren’t the important statistic for him as a guard. Donovan has racked up 13 assists and has handled the ball well, only giving up eight turnovers.

“The most important thing for me is to handle the ball. There are nights that I do score, there are nights that I don’t score. I need to be consistently handling the ball. That’s something I have to do,” Donovan said.