Cardinal Stritch basketball player trades in jersey for coach's clipboard

OREGON, OH (WTOL) - Senior Matt Payeff is one of several talented basketball players attending Cardinal Stritch.

The Cardinals are ranking top 10 in the state. They are having one of the best seasons in school history.

Payeff, knowing just how strong the current team is, decided to forgo his final season on the court to help out the next generation of Cardinals.

"When looking at it, with the talent coming back, and you've seen it, they're awesome," Payeff said. "My playing time would have been really, really, limited. Now it hurt a little bit, but when I got the opportunity to coach these third graders, I took it. And ever since I started, I never looked back."

Trading in a jersey and sneakers for a clipboard is not always easy, but certainly rewarding. But considering the youth of his team, patience is key.

"The first practice, I thought these kids were going to come in and be shy," Payeff said. "We were playing knockout and a kid got out and he started crying. I felt terrible! That's one of the challenges is keeping these kids composure, because they're so competitive."

Now attending Cardinal games as a fan, Payeff says not being on the floor helping his team can be hard, but he has no regrets.

"I miss it, it's not the same as being out there with your teammates," Payeff said. "I still, to this day, feel like this is the best decision I ever made."

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.