CLAY — Not too long ago, on multiple occasions, Clay’s Garret Beegan wasn’t physically able to play the game he loves.
Midway through this past basketball season, Beegan suffered through a sickness that forced him to sit the bench for a multiple-game stretch. Before that, during his sophomore campaign, he sat out the entire season with an injury.
So when he signed to play collegiately with NCAA Division III Eastern University this week, it took on an even bigger meaning.
“It means a lot to me. It has always been a goal of mine. Being injured my whole sophomore year and having to sit out a few games this year with illness really gave me a perspective and made me love the game more,” Beegan said. “You don’t know how much you love something until you have it taken away.”
Eastern, which is located just right outside of Philadelphia, Pa., boasts a men’s basketball program that finished 15-11 last season alongside a 9-5 record in MAC Freedom play.
Beegan, who will be pursuing a degree in either Business or Pre-Physical Therapy, says he chose to become an Eagle for multiple reasons.
“I picked Eastern because it is a great school academically and I really liked the location with it being only 15 minutes from downtown Philadelphia,” Beegan said. “I also liked the coaching staff and the players were very welcoming.”
While he embarks on a new adventure, the past four years of his basketball career are ones he’ll always remember.
“My favorite memory happened during my junior year at Notre Dame,” Beegan said. “Hunter Mathias and I were both coming off injury and it was our first game back together. We ended up winning and it was my first game with one of my favorite teammates.”
This past winter, Beegan helped a team in transition find its scoring options as a point guard. That’s exactly what he’ll be expected to do at Eastern.
“I feel like my best on-court trait is getting scorers the ball and not turning it over,” Beegan said. “As a point guard, you have to try to keep everyone happy.”
While his play did most of the talking for him, Beegan also made sure to thank his parents and those who have helped him along the way in finding a new home.
“My family is great. They come to all of my games and always support me,” Beegan said. “My AAU coach, coach [Charlie] Pack really helped me with my recruiting so a huge thanks to him.”