Feb. 4, 2002
By David Song
BERKELEY - Ryan Forehan-Kelly's life as a walk-on-turned-scholarship-player is a topic that has been well tread by the local media the past few years. The struggles he has been through, the triumph of earning a full-ride athletic scholarship and gaining an occasional spot in the starting line-up are stories he can tell his grandchildren in years to come.
But in the meantime, the senior shooting guard/small forward can share his tale with kin of another sort.
Tashaan Forehan-Kelly is the younger brother of Ryan and also a freshman walk-on for coach Ben Braun. Just like his older brother, Tashaan chose to start his college basketball career humbly, as a non-scholarship player when he had other basketball options coming out of high school.
The burden rests with Ryan to share the secrets of succeeding as a collegiate athlete at a major NCAA Division I school. Fortunately, for Tashaan, his elder brother doesn't see the mentorship as any sort of added concern.
"For me, its cool having my brother around," says Ryan, who was averaging 7.0 ppg as of Jan. 23. "He always comes over and hangs out. I can keep an eye on him. I like helping him out with school, getting more familiar with campus and showing him where to go."
And in that situation is where the elder Forehan-Kelly has been an important source for information and encouragement.
"It was hard my freshman year," recalls Ryan, who started two years at Santa Margarita High School and helped his team to the Division II state title, "going from starting every game my junior and senior year of high school to sitting on the bench at Cal. So I try to teach him things I learned from that. Just encourage him and basically tell him that I went through it, too."
As one of three seniors on the squad, Forehan-Kelly is looked upon to be a leader for the Bears. He says that the addition of a younger brother peering at his every move has not made his role on the team any different.
"I'm kind of soft spoken, so I just try to lead through my actions," he says. "It's not something that I think about too much. He does keep me accountable, though, while I'm playing, because you can't tell someone to play hard when you don't play hard yourself."
Off the court, Ryan and Tashaan have forged a bond that many brothers can relate to. Growing up, the Forehan-Kelly brothers often played sports together. Whether it be basketball, baseball or football, the tandem were addicts of outdoor recreation.
"We've been close since we were little, we would just hang out together because we both loved to play sports," says Ryan.
Ryan Forehan-Kelly's time at Cal is slowly coming to a close. He's contributed in many ways this season, placing fifth on the team in scoring, including a 19-point outburst vs. Stanford Jan. 6. He is also third in three-pointers and fourth in steals.
Forehan-Kelly can add, "tutelage of younger brother" to that list before the season is over. And in a way, Ryan's college career won't be over because he'll see the likeness of himself out on the court the next three years as Tashaan plays at Cal.
"It all depends on how hard he's going to work, how hard he's willing to work," says Ryan.
For starters, Ryan has Tashaan believing that he can be just as successful. Tashaan sees the end result of Ryan's four years of hard work, and although he realizes that his brother has opened the doors of opportunity for him, he is ready to take a successful road for himself in the years ahead.
"I know I can shine on my own," says Tashaan. "I'll come through and people will see what I can do. But he's definitely paved the way for me."
Ryan Forehan-Kelly has done a lot for the Golden Bears program as a player. Now he also does it as a brother.