BLOOMINGTON, Illinois (WMBD) – Days before the MLB Draft, Illinois State Redbird Ryan Cermak worked out with a U15 select team tryout in Bloomington Tuesday night.

The sight of the soon-to-be high schoolers reminded him of his first baseball memories when he was nine.

It was a Mother’s Day tournament and my mom was there and that’s really what I think of when I think of a childhood memory.

Ryan Cermak

Cermak was a freshman in 2020 when the pandemic cut his first season with ISU short and that experience taught him to appreciate every day.

“You never know what will happen so don’t take things for granted. Anything can happen at any given moment,” Cermak said.

Cermak could very well be selected Sunday night during the late-first or early-second round, which would be one of the highest draft positions for a Central Illinois player.

With that dream of playing professional baseball so close, Cermak remembered all the help his family has given him.

“My family has always been there for me. My mom would always make sure i was fed and like had waters. She’d bring out the coolers to the travel ball games. My dad was my coach. And he would stop work and stop what he was doing to take me out to the field to try and get a little bit better.”

Ryan Cermak

One thing he sure will not forget anytime soon is his time at Illinois State.

“I loved it,” Cermak said. “I couldn’t ask for any better teammates any better coaches and any better environment. I loved the people who would just come and cheer us on.”