Time-Out with Rulon Schmidt
Throughout the season, students from the Chargers Athletics varsity program will take time from their academic and athletic pursuits to share their sport and non-sport related insights, interests and inspirations. Today’s “Time-Out” features Chargers men’s basketball Rulon Schmidt who returns to Camosun after completing his University degree in Mechanical Engineering. Find out how Rulon managed to achieve super-hero status before hitting high school, what made him return to Camosun after a stint at UVic and why this insanely positive, mellow fellow never hits the hoops without his toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Men's Basketball
- Home Town
- Duncan, BC
- High School
- Cowichan Secondary
- Program of Study
- Business Administration
- Head Coach
- Scot Cuachon
How did you end up on the “mean streets” of Duncan and how did you get started playing basketball?
My family moved around a lot when I was young. I was born in Maple Ridge but we ended up in Duncan when I was in Grade 3. I had a great group of friends growing up there and everyone called us the Fantastic Four. We did everything together and it didn’t matter what sport or activity it was … basketball, soccer, kick the can, the four of us would go up against a whole team and win! We were fantastic at pretty much everything – that’s basically how we got our name.
As for really getting interested in basketball, the Duncan Basketball Association was key for me. It was a great development program and really well run. Our high school team was very successful because of it and we also had a great coach - Sandy Pierre. There were a few other people, but he was the ringleader for sure!
What kept you interested in playing ball after high school?
After high school, I started the Mechanical Engineering program at Camosun and decided to take some time off of basketball. After that first year, I started playing intramurals in the summer and realized how much I missed playing. That Fall, I contacted Craig Price who was the Head Coach at the time and basically walked on and played for Camosun the next three years.
I started the Mechanical Engineering Bridge program at UVic at the end of my third year with the Chargers, and that got me into my third year at the University. That fall, I joined the Vikes men’s basketball program.
What brought you back to Camosun?
I knew I’d be graduating from UVic this year but I wanted to keep playing. I also accepted a casual position with the Department of National Defense because I needed to make money. Head Coach Scot Cuachon knows me fairly well and understands my priorities and has been really great about letting me miss some things. It couldn’t have worked out any better. Being at Camosun this second time around has given me the opportunity to further my career development, earn an income and on top of it all, pursue something I really like.
What do you think sets Camosun and the Chargers apart from other post-secondary programs?
Looking back at my educational experience at Camosun, I’d have to say that I’m really impressed at how much I learned through Camosun’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program. When I transferred to UVic, I was surprised at how ahead of the game I was. I also found the quality of teaching excellent at Camosun and I learned more of the practical side of technology. At UVic, we learned theory. We’d go to a class and learn calculus and how it relates to a certain topic in engineering. At Camosun, we learned and worked through real life examples.
As far as sports goes, the resources that we have access to are really impressive. We have a top tier program with our training and the facilities at PISE, which is comparable to any program in Canada – college or University. On top of that, the coordination between the Athletics department and our coach Scot Cuachon and other people in the College like Deborah Porcher, who advises the athletes with their career and class options, is outstanding.
What do you want to accomplish while you’re here?
Academically, I’m really interested in taking the CPA program at Camosun. Combining this with my Engineering Degree would provide me with a really unique set of professional skills! I would also love to play out my last two years. I love competing and I think I’ve put in too much time into getting healthy, staying fit and dealing with injuries to not take the opportunity to play.
Playing for Camosun now gives me the opportunity to contribute to the team as an older guy. My role at UVic was very different as I was being mentored there. But here, I get to do some mentoring. I’ve never wanted to be like a captain per se, but I do like helping people. I think that as long as you’re constructive and positive, you can definitely share in that leadership role. That’s what I took from my experience at UVic and every captain that I’ve ever had.
What has been your best time ever as a Charger so far?
Winning bronze in 2011-12 was huge! The year prior, the team was 1-19. We came in the next year and started the season 4-0 which is really nothing but it got us off to a great start! We had so much fun that year and the team was really close and talented. We had a really talented group of guys: James Blandford, Blake Mansbridge, Paulius Makulavicius, Brandon Chan, Jordan Elvedahl, Trevor Schuermann, Prab Parmar, James Lundy ... those guys would go on other teams and start; it was the best time by far!
What are your top achievements so far?
Completing my degree (Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering) while getting to play basketball and never going into debt is probably my best accomplishments! Another highlight was winning Canada West with UVic last year, which the Vikes hadn’t done in nine years! We went on to Nationals that year and placed fourth.
When I was in Grade 9, my high school coach said some pretty harsh things to me and I remember going home and thinking, “I should never play basketball again.” But it didn’t take me long to realize that I was so much better than he thought I was and I really wanted to prove that he had underestimated me. I’ve been known to be disgustingly positive and I love a challenge. I’ve carried this attitude throughout both my college and university experiences.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of school and basketball?
In the summer, I love playing tennis! I usually get together with former Charger James Lundy and one of my Engineering friends from UVic. Otherwise, I’m pretty interested in anything to do with sports, business, real estate and renovations. If I’m bored, I’m on MLS looking at houses and watching House Hunters International!
Do you have any pre-match rituals?
I brush my teeth before every game with my travel-go brush. My favorite toothpaste would have to be Arm and Hammer when I travel, but I have Colgate at home … (laughs) I’m flexible.
What do you listen to get pumped up for a game?
I don’t really work out to music and I never get to choose the warm-up music because I always choose something George Ezra or someone super mellow like Jack Johnson … almost lullabies to a point. I don’t need a huge pump-up before the game. My whole game is slow and steady. You know what you get from me … I’m pretty level headed.
February 10, 2016