Ridder Joins Missouri State
Editor: The following is part of a press release by missouristatebears.com.
(Springfield, MO) – Local product Jared Ridder, an ESPN.com four-star men’s basketball recruit, is officially enrolled at Missouri State University and will join the Bears basketball program this week, according to MSU head coach Paul Lusk.
As a senior at basketball tradition-rich Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Ridder broke school records for career (1,628) and single-season (745) scoring before committing to attend Xavier University this fall to begin his college career. Earlier this week, Ridder announced his intentions to leave Xavier and return home.
Ridder was released from his National Letter of Intent by the Musketeers on Wednesday. Per NCAA transfer rules, he will have to sit out a year in residence before being fully eligible to play at Missouri State. He may practice with the Bears this season.
“We’re very excited to add Jared to our basketball program,” said MSU head coach Lusk. “This redshirt year will be positive for him as moves forward with his career at Missouri State.”
Ridder was named Mr. Show-Me Basketball in 2017 as well as Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Missouri Player of the Year. He averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists his senior year, while shooting 57.5 percent from the floor for coach Dick Rippee’s Chiefs. He helped lead Kickapoo to a 26-5 campaign in 2016-17 and a third-place finish in the Missouri Class 5 state tournament.
ESPN.com named Ridder as its top player in Missouri for the Class of 2017 in addition to being the No. 23 overall small forward. The 6-foot-7 standout also earned three-star rankings from Scout.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.
“I’ve been to a lot of games at Missouri State and always dreamed of wearing that 34 jersey,” Ridder said. “Watching Kyle Weems growing up was lots of fun. It’s going to be a dream come true to be able to play in front of all my friends and family. Coach Lusk and his staff are one of the best coaching staffs on and off the court, and I’m looking forward to an enjoyable four years at Missouri State.”
The Bears have also added 6-foot-1 guard James Byrd to the roster. The Kansas City native attended Park Hill South High School before spending the past season at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in Kansas City. His stellar sophomore campaign was highlighted by being named to the NJCAA Division II All-America Team as a second-team selection. He ranked 39th nationally in scoring (19.4 ppg) and 40th in assists (142) while making 72 percent of his free throws, 42.3 percent of his 3-pointers. He played his freshman season at Seward County (Kan.) Community College.