Dan Stoddard plays centre for the Algonquin College basketball team.
Beside the fact that he’s six foot eight, he stands out because he’s the oldest player on his team. The 38-year-old’s nickname is ‘Old Man Dan.’
“The first couple of weeks I actually thought Dan was the coach,” said teammate Brendan Stoqua.
Stoddard is a full-time bus driver for the City of Ottawa. He’s married, and a dad to an 18-year-old and 15-year-old.
He decided to join the team this summer after playing a high school alumni game. The referee, who is the Algonquin College basketball coach, saw him play and told Stoddard he should try out for his team.
“He came out and said at my size I [could] play for the college league, and I laughed because I was just shy of 390 pounds at six foot eight. I thought he was joking but apparently he was serious,” said Stoddard.
Stoddard enrolled in Algonquin College’s accounting program and tried out for the team. He says he has lost 72 pounds in the last few months.
“My worry was never the game, my worry was the physical part of the game. The running, the cardio. And I’m still not close to where I want to be, but that’s the real difficult part of the game.”
Since joining the team, Stoddard’s story has been featured by a number of media outlets, including Sports Illustrated and the Washington Post.