Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ripley Verbally Commits to Miami

A great player, a great kid - a great story. New Hampton School's Rebecca Ripley piled up an astonishing 15 Division I scholarship offers to play basketball - before even starting her junior year of high school. The Stratham, NH resident is one of the country's top recruits from the Class of 2017. Ripley has ended her recruitment, verbally committing to the University of Miami (FL) this past weekend.

The list of schools that offered Ripley includes Syracuse, Seton Hall, Boston College, Ohio State, Clemson, Miami, St Johns, Rutgers, Dayton, Georgetown, Rhode Island, Providence, UMass, Bryant and Fordham. Ripley will play for the Miami in the ACC. Under head coach Katie Meier, the Hurricanes to its sixth consecutive postseason, a fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last five years, and a fifth 20-plus win season in the last six years.

"Miami has always been one of my dream schools, along with Kentucky" Ripley told the New Hampshire Notebook. "The coaches from UMiami and I started to build a relationship after my AAU coach Earl Elliott from the New York Gauchos and I reached out to them. The coaching staff began to come to a large majority of my games during the July live period. For example, the EYBL tournaments Virginia, Chicago, Atlanta, Augusta & Iowa. The coaches stayed in contact with my AAU coaches and explained to them how they admire me and how they love my game. When I heard that they were a fan my face lit up. I was extremely excited as well as anxious. I continued to stay in touch with the coaches and they ended up offering me after live period. When they offered I started to tear up inside because this was my dream, and not only was receiving numerous high major offers but I picked up one from my dream school since I was younger."

Ripley visit Miami's campus this summer and knew it was the right fit.

I was familiar with the school since I was a kid because I have family that lives outside Miami" Ripley continued. "My mother and I decided to plan a visit to Miami in early August to meet the staff, players and get a tour of the campus as well as the surroundings. I am currently 16 years old, a sophomore transitioning into being a junior this fall. I went to the UMiami campus a few days prior to my visit to see the area and the surroundings of the school. I immediately fell in love, and I knew right then and there that I wanted to be a part of the UMiami community. I went back for my visit a few days later. I met the coaches outside the Bank United Center and got a tour of the facilities such as the locker room, basketball offices and the training room. I then attended the women's basketball practice for a few hours. I admired the way that Katie Meiers coached. The way that she ran her offense was incredibly unique as well as difficult for the defense to cover. She pushed her players with desire and passion while cracking a few jokes here in there through out practice. After the practice I met with the academic adviser and tutor. They provided me with a lot of information and helpful hints that will later benefit me in my academics. I went for the tour of the whole campus later on and I knew that I can picture myself at that school. It was everything I wanted in a school, the campus setup, the size of the school, the fact that they are in the best conference in the NCAA, everything. The tour was followed by a lunch with the team and coaches. As soon as I started to talk to the girls I felt a connection. I had an amazing time talking to them about their experience so far at the U. My Mom and I said bye, and left to meet Coach Katie which concluded our visit. We shared our thoughts about the school as well as information that helped me with my decision."

Ripley won't begin her junior year of high school until the fall, so this is definitely an early commitment. But Ripley felt the time was right to make her commitment to Coach Meier now.

"I was not planning to commit until next year, but nothing was holding me back" explained Ripley, who moved to Stratham, NH from Ipswich, MA prior to enrolling at New Hampton. "I always have been a firm believer in following your heart. My heart was telling me to pick this school, and I got that feeling as soon as I stepped foot on campus. It was the missing piece to my puzzle, and I knew that I had to commit. As soon as I did, my Mom started jumping with joy as well as the coach. There was no pressure put on my decision, I just felt that there was no point in waiting if I know that this is my dream and there is nothing holding me back to commit to play my favorite sport at my dream school."

Ripley is a 6-foot guard who can flat out shoot the lights out as well as take her man off the dribble. She is a scoring machine, is fearless and is an extremely hard worker. She can handle the basketball, rebound and defend. Ripley is one of the top prospects to come out of New England in recent years.

Ripley credits her time at New Hampton School as a big reason for getting to where she is now.

"I have always dreamed of playing basketball in college regardless what level" Ripley pointed out. "As I got to high school at the outstanding, prestigious New Hampton School in New Hampton, New Hampshire I realized that I had all the tools to be the best I could be. I am a boarding student at this prep school and this particular school has every single resource you can imagine. I could potentially play at a high major division one school if I put in the work. I had this mindset coming into New Hampton that I would not get distracted and I would push myself everyday off and on the court to be the best I could be. I didn't let anyone in my way. I knew that people were going to doubt me and what I was trying to do. I basically used all the hate and generated it into motivation that really made me want to push myself even more. Ever since then I have accomplished an extreme amount of goals, and I still continue to. Coach Freddy Petkus at New Hampton had a big part in that. Freddy participated in many roles in my life. Not only is he my high school coach, he is my teacher, my best friend, my role model and my second father. Living away from home was difficult for me at first. I truly believe that if it wasn't for Freddy I would not have accomplished some of the goals that I achieved."

Ripley's hard work has paid off, as well as her support system and various programs she has played for over the years.

"I started playing basketball ever since I can remember" Ripley concluded. "I was in a couple leagues at the YMCA that really got me going. Ever since then I fell in love. All of my family played basketball, my grandfather and my mother played in college as well as my father who played in high school. They all shared their knowledge with me each and everyday as a kid and still continue to. Basketball has always been my escape from everything. I would always just play for fun or if I had a rough day then I would just be in the gym reliving stress and pain for hours at a time. I played with numerous aau teams such as VBC (Visionary Basketball Club), Boston Showstoppers, Lady Rivals and New York Gauchos. I absorbed a large amount of basketball IQ from these programs in addition to skills and fundamentals. VBC taught me the basic fundamentals and skills of the game. The Boston Showstoppers taught me team concept, we won two national championships and three state titles in a row. The Lady Rivals owner Scott Hazelton taught me a lot of drills that I could bring home and practice such as the outstanding dribbling drill and the various layup drill. Then I went to the Nike sponsored (EYBL) New York Lady Choz who had a large impact in the opportunities that were continuously approaching for me. The exposure and the competition was unreal, this league is known as pre-college due to the level of play. You really can't get any better than playing against the best of the best players all over the country. Our team also know as the Lady Choz traveled all over the country to participate in these high level tournaments. I came out confident and I played really good for my first time. I was knocking down important shots, I continuously drove hard to the basket with ease, and my defense was on point especially the way I communicated on that end of the floor. I proved to the people that believed I couldn't do it with hard work and dedication. I picked up 6 high major offers after live period. Miami being the last offer, but most definitely not least. I am extremely excited to be a future Miami Hurricane and be a member of the UMiami community."

A great player, a great kid - a great story. The scary part is, the best is yet to come for Rebecca Ripley. Ripley is proff that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

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