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After his senior season was cut short by injury, Ryan Betley decided to spend his fifth year of eligibility playing for the University of California, Berkeley.  

Credit: Alexa Cotler

After a four-year career for the Red and Blue was cut short by injury, senior guard Ryan Betley opted to use his fifth year of eligibility to play a final season at the University of California, Berkeley. 

The Downingtown, Pa. native’s prolific career with the Quakers featured an impressive sophomore campaign, in which Betley led the team in points per game. His efforts aided Penn in its quest for their first March Madness berth since 2007and earned him a second team All-Ivy honor. 

Betley was a three-point specialist for the Quakers. Ultimately, Betley finished his Quaker career with the 10th most three-pointers in school history.

Unfortunately, Betley suffered a torn patellar tendon in the regular season opener, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. As a result, the NCAA granted Betley another year of eligibility as a graduate student. 

After recovering well, Betley took to Twitter to announce that he would be leaving his home state of Pennsylvania to travel to the West Coast to play for Berkeley’s basketball team. Betley chose to stay close to home for his undergraduate years, but he felt he wanted to explore something new in this final season.

Any transition to a new team requires a period of adjustment where players learn each others' timing and habits. Through his playing time as a starter, Betley likely was able to quickly get acquainted with his coaches and teammates. Through this season, Betley has averaged 30.3 minutes per game, as a staple guard for Berkeley’s starting squad. 

In the prior year, Berkeley suffered from a severe lack of shooters, ranking last in the nation in three-pointers made. Betley was a perfect addition to strengthen this weak point in the Berkeley offense.

Though the Bears have not exactly manifested the results they would hope for thus far in the season — sitting at an overall record of 7-14, 2-12 PAC-12 — the team has plenty of games to gel together and create a replicable framework for ensuing seasons.

With 2021 being his final year of eligibility, Betley will not be a part of those future teams, but he certainly will try to leave an imprint upon current players at Berkeley through his experience and leadership.