Ramon Galloway is in constant motion.
He can’t stop. He won’t stop. If he slows down for even a minute, the reality of life is all too, well, real. So he keeps moving.
“I have to,” he said, “otherwise, it’s tough to be quiet and in my thoughts.”
The unquestioned emotional leader of the La Salle Explorers, Galloway is a major reason why they’re headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 21 years. Galloway and 13th-seeded La Salle will face Boise State in the first round Wednesday night at 9:10 p.m.
Soon after La Salle’s name was uttered by Greg Gumbel during Sunday’s Selection Show, Galloway put his head in his hands. You could see the tears of joy.
“It’s really big for the school,” said Galloway, a senior who began his college career at South Carolina before transferring to La Salle. “It’s really big for the program. I don’t think it’s hit me yet that we’re going dancing. I want to get there, and I want to win. You know, it’s great that we got there. It’s great for everybody in the school. But now we’ve got to make a statement that we’re in for a reason.”
This trip to the Big Dance may be more important to Galloway than another player on the team. Considering what he’s been through in his life, this is a major accomplishment.
Galloway’s father, Gerald, has been blind since 1993, the result of a gunshot wound to his head over an argument about money. Two of his brothers are in jail. Yet Galloway marches on with incredible energy.
“I have an incredibly close inner circle and getting to the NCAA Tournament is as much for them as it is me,” Galloway said. “It means so much for me to share this with them because I wouldn’t be here without them. I’ve had a lot of tough things happen to me in my life, and it has been tough. I just wanted a better life and I’ve gotten it through basketball and the bonding with my family. This tournament berth is just incredible for all of us.”
Galloway grew up in the rough and tumble section of Germantown and eventually moved to Florida and accepted a scholarship to the University of South Carolina. Playing time soon became scarce and he received a hardship waiver to come back home to La Salle.
In the process, he has helped lead La Salle into uncharted territory: the NCAA Tournament.
“There are so many great players who have gone to this school like Train [Lionel Simmons], Tom Gola and so on,” Galloway said. “I’m honored to be a part of history and I want to keep on winning in the tournament. It took so much to get here that we want to keep it going.”