The Ryerson men’s basketball team has created many stars over the past few years. Ammanuel Diressa is one of their best.
Diressa is a 6’5” point guard, heading into what will be his final season with the team. He was named an OUA First-Team All-Star last season.
After spending a couple of years at Tennessee Tech University, Diressa returned home and transferred to Ryerson to play for the Rams. This will be his third and final season playing for the team.
Last year, Diressa recorded at least 11 points in every regular season game. He also recorded 20 or more points on nine separate occasions, with his career best hitting 30 points in a win over Guelph.
Overall, the Rams team came second in the country during nationals and won the Ontario finals.
Although it is early in the season, Diressa predicted that the team will do well again.
“We have a lot of talent, most of the guys are back,” Diressa said. “We lost two guys that were big time players for us. But we’ve brought in a number of new guys that should have an impact right away, and they’re doing well in practice so we should be good.”
Diressa knows a lot about success on the court. In August, he was selected to be a part of Canada Basketball’s senior men’s team for the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup in Argentina.
Ryerson Rams coach, Roy Rana, led Canada at the event and made sure to count on Diressa.
“I’ve known him since he was a little kid so it’s never been a question of what makes him good for the team,” Rana said. “He’s an overall good player and a good person.”
Rana has seen many good players in his coaching career, but refers to Diressa as the best Ryerson has.
“He’s the guy that’s going to lead us, the team is a reflection of him,” Rana said. “He is extremely talented in every area but it’s his character that’s the best part of him, he’s a great team guy.”
Diressa was a big catch for the Rams back in 2015-16, with the Toronto native coming off of two seasons with Tennessee Tech in the NCAA. Before that, Diressa was the MVP of the Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute high school, leading the team to a city championship with an impressive 37-7 record.
The Team Canada training camp provided a new experience for Diressa. To him, the biggest change was the intensity of the training because most of the other players on the team play professionally.
Diressa said he was not intimidated playing against them because he has already played against many of them before.
“Because it was a new environment, that may have been the only thing that made me feel a little different,” Diressa said.
“It was a good group of guys and they were very encouraging, everyone had positive attitudes. I felt comfortable, the coaches were really encouraging me to be confident and play my game.”
Growing up, Diressa never played with Team Ontario or even the junior national team.
“To be honest, it’s been a long time since I would’ve thought that I could play for the national team,” he said.
With hard work and an improvement in his skills, Diressa surprised himself by making it to Team Canada and playing in the FIBA tournament. After his time at Ryerson, Diressa plans to continue his basketball career and play professionally.