By: Danny Massa – Sports Writer
In what some people might call an extension of the True Team mantra of the University of Dayton men’s basketball team, Bobby Wehrli, a junior (now former) walk-on, was provided a scholarship for the spring semester.
Wehrli tweeted the news on Jan. 16, showing a picture of his newly signed financial aid agreement from the athletic department.
Word quickly spread through Twitter and other social media platforms, providing an outpouring of support from teammates and fans alike.
Fellow junior teammate Dyshawn Pierre tweeted, “Congrats to @bwehrli_10 for receiving a scholarship this morning! Hard work pays off! #DeservesIt.”
“I had one guy who tweeted at me and told me I was his son’s favorite player, that was kind of a cool thing,” Wehrli said.
UD men’s basketball program found itself with one open scholarship to begin the spring semester and second half of their season.
“We had a scholarship available, and if we were going to add anybody at the break, whether it be a transfer or whatnot, we would hold that thing open,” head coach Archie Miller said after the team’s 61-45 victory over Saint Louis Jan. 17. “It came from the top, [Vice President and Director of Athletics] Tim Wabler came and talked to me specifically about the opportunity to add Bobby for a semester.”
What had begun as another day during the grind of the basketball season turned into one of the best surprises of Wehrli’s life.
“The coaches called me and said they wanted me to come and watch film for the upcoming game,” Wehrli said. “I went into Archie’s office and they told me the news. Part of me didn’t think it was really happening.”
For Wehrli, it was a culmination of almost three years of grueling work since he joined the team during his freshman year.
“It’s a reminder that hard work really pays off,” he said. “If you just be consistent and work hard every day, eventually you’ll get your opportunity.”
For Miller, it was a bit of a nice change of pace from his usual intense demeanor.
“It was actually really cool to sit a guy in front of me and not yell at him,” Miller said. “The guy has absolutely earned it. You take a look at what he’s done for us and how he’s helped us continue to be a good team, I’m proud of Bobby, he’s done a good job.”
The Flyers head to Massachusetts Thursday to take on UMass at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.