“Like father, like son” is a term commonly used when comparing the likeness of a son to that of his father, whether it be looks, personality or tendencies.
For University of Utah junior basketball player Beau Rydalch, the similarities between him and his dad go beyond physical ones. Rydalch is following in the footsteps of his father and living out his dream in playing basketball at the U.
A psychology major, Rydalch grew up in Oakley, Utah, just an hour outside of Salt Lake City. He is one of Kena and Craig Rydalch’s three sons.
“I grew up going to basketball games all the time at the U and we have had season tickets to football games since I was young,” said Rydalch. “I remember growing up and wearing my dad’s jersey at games. I always followed the team in my teenage years through all of the ups and downs of the program before Coach K got here. I love the program and I love the U.”
Like many kids growing up in Utah, Rydalch was raised a Utah fan. Both his father and his uncle played basketball at the U when they each attended the university. His father played a big role in inspiring Beau Rydalch to attend the U.
Craig Rydalch played basketball with the Utes from 1989 to 1992 under head coach Rick Majerus. Craig described his time with Majerus as “tough to play for,” but at the end of his time with the team, he had built up a strong relationship with Majerus and the experience was one that was key for him.
Growing up, Craig coached Beau to set the fundamentals for the athlete that he is today. Beau remembers seeing his father in the stands at every high school basketball game cheering him on, offering both advice and coaching points. Craig’s main contribution to Beau’s athletic success was stressing the importance of fundamentals in the game. This was something that was ingrained in Craig from Coach Majerus, and it is what he passed on to his son.
“When it comes down to it, Beau did everything by himself,” said Craig. “He spent hours and hours in the gym, and he had the desire to be a good basketball player. I played a little part, but he did a lot on his own. He had a key to the high school and when things weren’t going right in his life, he would go up at midnight and shoot for a couple of hours.”
Even though Beau always dreamed of playing at the U, that dream was not always a reality for him, and there were times when he doubted that he would get to wear the red and white uniform that his father wore before him. However, through hard work and perseverance, Beau received an offer from the team, and he never looked back. Beau is a hard worker on and off of the court, and that is what people know him for. He has pushed through everything that has been thrown at him.
“Where he lacks in athleticism, he counters with hard work and hustle,” said Craig. “He’s not the most athletic one on the team, and he could have played at smaller schools, but he wanted to play at Utah, and he is happy with his role on the team and what he has been able to do at the U. Things have not always come easy to him, but he has always pushed through and been successful.”
In his three years at the U, Beau has built up a community within the team and the athletic department. He mentioned that this is his dream, and he is living happily in it. Beau has found a second family in the team, and they are his best friends.
Beau fell in love with the game naturally, and that love strengthened with every Utah and Jazz game that he attended with his dad. Following in his dad’s footsteps as a Ute is what he has always wanted.
“A dad couldn’t be more proud than I am of Beau,” said Craig. “He is a great basketball player, but he is a great person too. If you would talk to any of the other athletes at the U, they would say the same thing about him. People love Beau because he is so genuine, and he is a people person. He loves to make friends, and he is just an overall great person.”