By BILL COLLMER, Senior Sports Writer for the Sun
Raegan Ryan had a storybook high school and college basketball career at Canisteo-Greenwood and Cedarville University.
She will be properly rewarded for her accomplishments with an induction into the Section V Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday (Nov. 4) at the RIT Inn and Conference Center in Rochester.
She will be only the third girl from Steuben County to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Jamie Burke from Prattsburgh and Robin Rink from Arkport.
Ryan was a four-year varsity player at Canisteo-Greenwood and holds the single game (42), single season (545) and career (1,878) scoring records at C-G. She was named all-state three-times, a four-time All-Steuben County League First Team selection and was a two-time League MVP, her senior season she was selected to the Ronald McDonald All-Star Game and earned the MVP Award.
Ryan has many fond memories of her time on the hardwood at Canisteo-Greenwood.
“I loved playing in our home gym. I could be wrong by I just remember it being almost completely filled for most, if not all, of our home games,” Ryan said. “They traveled to away games, too. And that was for girls’ basketball — over a decade ago. It was awesome … a great environment to play in and that speaks to the support we had from our administration and community members.”
But there were also memories off the court.
“The camaraderie with the community and our team was palpable. I loved my teammates with many of us playing all three sports seasons together and that was special,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s love for the sport went to a new level when Mike Wright started coaching.
“We were so fortunate to have Coach Wright, starting my junior season. He challenged us as a team, pinpointed our strengths and put us in positions to be successful every day,” Ryan said. “He instantly made our team better and myself as a player, too. I’m so thankful the impact he, and his family, had on me both on and off the court.
Any time we beat a rival – that was enjoyable. Winning the county championship is a top memory. Making it to sectional semi-finals, during my senior season, in a stacked class (which included the eventual state champion for 2011) was the furthest we got in the tournament – but it was a match up against the former state champion (Marion) and we competed! Mr. Wright arranged for us to go to a Penn State Women’s Basketball game and the parents stepped up, filled their vans, and drove us all the way to State College, PA for a game. That was cool,” Ryan added.
Not one to talk about herself or her accomplishments, Ryan was surprised to get the call.
“I am so honored and humbled by this recognition. I’m also incredibly grateful. This recognition is not just mine, that’s for sure,” Ryan said. “I share it with the many people who poured into me both as a person and as a player – starting from when I began playing basketball as a 7/8-year-old at the Hornell YMCA through to this day now as a teacher and coach. I can’t thank my family enough for their support and belief in me, and how they pushed me to reach my goals. I couldn’t be more thankful for their impact and influence on my life.”
Following her time at C-G Ryan moved to Ohio and played four seasons at Cedarville University and left a lasting impression there as well.
Her senior season she was named Great Midwest Athletic Conference and National Player of the Year. She finished her career with 1,484 Points. She led her team in assists and steals her junior season and set a single-game school record with 13 assists in a game.
“It was a pretty unique set up with my freshman year being our first year of provisional status at the NCAA DII level (the school was not eligible for the national tournament). The school had over a decade worth of NAIA National success and I was so excited to be a part of the program,” Ryan said. “There’s nothing like being a collegiate athlete when you love the game and want to become the best player you can be with coaches who want to help you get there. We had great seasons all four years. Eventually we joined a brand-new conference my sophomore season that wouldn’t have an automatic bid to the National Tournament even if we won our conference so we had to stack our schedule with ranked teams to earn the respect of the NCAA”.
The team, and Raegan Ryan, made their mark.
“I loved that mentality – compete and make the NCAA DII committee recognize what we were accomplishing as a team. During my senior year we beat several ranked teams and were ranked as high as #17, won our conference regular season, won our conference tournament, and earned an at-large bid for the first time in school history and for our conference (in the NCAA DII era),” she said. “The NCAA provided a private charter for our trip for the tournament – it was pretty cool! Through the ups and the downs of a season, and a career, there is so much you learn and grow through and I am grateful for all of what I gleaned through my experience.”
Wright had lots of praise for his former player and the impact she had on girls’ basketball in Steuben County.
“I think Raegan was a player that helped grow girls’ basketball in our area. Younger girls also wanted to be like her and took more of an interest in playing basketball,” Wright said. “I have talked with a lot of people who had not seen a girls basketball game but had heard about her and decided to come check out a game. They didn’t realize that girls could actually play “real” basketball. We drew great crowds for games because people in the area came out to watch her play.”
Ryan was humbled at C-G to realize she was a role model to younger players.
“Truthfully, I just wanted to give back what was given to me when I was young. I was really fortunate to be the manager for the varsity girls’ basketball team in Canisteo starting from when I was in 3rd/4th grade,” Ryan said. “Being the manager is also a fond memory of my time at C-G. I just remember how thinking how cool the girls were on the team and I wanted to be like them. They were so kind and gracious to me and really were one of the reasons I fell in love with basketball. “
It wasn’t just the players she looked up to. Ryan is also known for respecting all of her coaches and learning.
“They gave so much to me and taught me a great deal, including the coaches at the time Dan Peters and Ann Hosmer. I have to give a great deal of credit to my parents,” Ryann said. “They did a great job navigating my competitive nature and where/how to channel it. They knew I was a natural leader but kept me humble and instilled in me to use my gifts and abilities to give back to others.”
Wright noticed not only did he have an exception player, but someone who was a foundation for the program.
“Raegan is the perfect role model for young girls. She worked hard at becoming the best player she could be. She was the complete player, not only could she score pretty much whenever she wanted, her ball handling and passing were exceptional, she had a great understanding of the game, she made her teammates better players by knowing their strengths,” Wright said. “One of the things I admired the most was how she carried herself on and off the court. Many times, officials came up to me after games to comment not only on her abilities, but her sportsmanship on the court and respect toward opponents and officials. In school, she was also exceptional as evidenced by being the valedictorian of her class.”
Ryan was a complete player and was just as effective on defense as on offense but what was her favorite to play?
“As cliché as it sounds, I just love the game. I smile just thinking about playing. I loved being a point guard – a floor general, creating space, setting a teammate up for a shot with a sweet pass – that was my favorite. Getting an “and one” after finishing at the rim is up there too. The part about defense I loved was matching up against my opponent’s best player, if that’s what the team needed, and doing my best to shut them down and finishing a possession with a solid box out,” Ryan said.
In 40 years of coaching, Wright has coached hundreds of players, but Ryan left a lasting impression on him.
“Raegan was a complete joy to coach. Not only was she incredibly talented, she was a great teammate and extremely coachable,” Wright said, “She was definitely more interested in how the team did than any personal accolades. On more than one occasion I had to have a conversation with her about being more assertive offensively because she was more concerned with making sure everyone on the floor was being included in what we were doing. Her knowledge and understanding of the game made it like having another coach on the floor. I learned a lot from her approach to the game and concern for teammates that has helped me be a better coach.”
Wright said all of these reasons is why Ryan is going into the Section V Basketball Hall of Fame.
“I’ve had the opportunity to coach a lot of great players and people over the years. Raegan is at the top of the list in both categories. As a player, her accomplishments speak for themselves. There were some teams that specifically double teamed her when she got to mid court but because of her ability to handle the ball, great passing ability to find open teammates, as well as being able to create her own scoring opportunities, she was impossible to guard. I believe as well as she played basketball, she is an even better person, “Wright said.” She is an intelligent, humble, caring, compassionate person and truly one of a kind that I am blessed to have had an opportunity to work with. She is very deserving of being inducted into the hall of fame. I’ve been involved in coaching for 40 years, have coached a lot of great players and watched a lot of great players. You won’t find a better all-around player and person than Raegan,” Wright added.”
Ryan graduated from Cedarville in 2015 and then became an Assistant Coach at Houghton College for five seasons.
She then moved onto coaching at high school level. Coaching Modified Basketball at Genesee Valley/Belfast for the last three years and this year will be her first season at the helm of the girls varsity basketball team. She’s also coached modified boys’ soccer for two years, JV Boys soccer for one year and coached modified track & field for three years as well.
Girls Basketball is currently in a “Boom Period” nationwide with record numbers for the Women’s College Basketball tournament and individual games featuring Iowa Senior Caitlin Clark drawing 30,000 people to arenas across the country. But for people in Steuben County the “Boom Period” began with Raegan Ryan and still going strong.
Reagan Ryan – High School Basketball Accomplishments
2007-2008 (Freshman Year)
Birdseye Player of the Week
1st Team Steuben County All-Star
NYS Scholar Athlete
2008-2009 (Sophomore Year)
Canisteo-Greenwood Athlete of the Month
Birdseye Player of the week (2x)
NYS Scholar Athlete
1st Team Great 8 Selection
1st Team Steuben County All-Star
7th Team All-State Selection
2009-2010 (Junior Year)
Allegany-Steuben Officials/Alfred State Basketball Classic MVP
SCHSAA League MVP
1st Team and Great 8 MVP
Birdseye Player of the Week (2x)
NYS Scholar Athlete
School Record Single season points scored (545)
3rd Highest single season points scored in Section V History
11th Highest points scored in single season in NYS History
Highest scoring average in Section V (27.25 ppg)
League leader in points, rebounds, assists and steals
4th team All-State Selection
2010-2011 (Senior Year)
SCHSAA Player of the Week (2x)
WETM TV Player of the Week (2x)
NYS Scholar Athlete
1st team and Great 8 MVP
Section V Ronald McDonald All-Star Game Selection
Section V Ronald McDonald All-Star Game MVP
Section V Class C All-Tournament Team
Second highest school single season points scored (528)
School Record (Canisteo-Greenwood) Career Scoring Record – 1877 points (84 games)
School Record Career PPG – 22.34
School Record Single Game Scoring Record – 42 points
Section V – single game 13th highest single game scoring 42 points
Section V – Career Scoring – 20th highest
Section V – Single Season 14th highest made 3 pointers (48)
1st Team All –State Selection
BCANY – Top 50 players in NYS
BCANY – Academic All-State Team
NYS BB Record for Consecutive Free Throws Made = 20
Harvey Anderson Scholarship Female Recipient
Raegan Ryan – Cedarville University Basketball Accomplishments
Overall record at Cedarville University of 89-32
Led Team to 27-4 record and NCAA D2 Midwest Region Bid her senior year while also being names National Christian College Athletic Association Player of the Year.
Cedarville University Record Book
• #14 All-Time Scoring Leader = 1484 points
• Single Game Scoring = 43 points (14th highest)
• Single Game Assist Record = 13
• Consecutive Free Throws Made = 41
• 3 Point Field Goals in a game = 9
• 1 of 4 players to score 40+ points in a game
Top 10 Single Season Stat Leaders:
• Assists/Game Average = 5.6 (3rd All-Time)
• Single Season Assists = 151 (10th All-Time)
• Free Throws Made = 131 (10th All-Time)
Top 10 Career Stat Leaders:
• 3 Point Field Goals Made = 209 (8th All-Time)
• 3 Point Field Goal % = 40.4% (7th All-Time)
• Assists = 519 (3rd All-Time)
• Assists/Game = 4.3 (3rd All-Time)
• Free Throw % = 82.3% (3rd All-Time)
• Steals = 205 (8th All-Time)
National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA)
• Scholar Athlete – 2013-2014, 2014-2015
• NCCAA Midwest Region Player of the Year 2014-2015
• National All-Tournament Team 2014-2015
• NCCAA All-American 2014-2015
• NCCAA National Player of the Year 2014-2015
Great Midwest Conference
• 1st Team All-Conference – 2013-2014, 2014-2015
• Player of the Year – 2014-2015
• All-Academic Team – 2013-2014, 2014-2015
• All Midwest Region
• 3rd Team – 2011-2012
• 2nd Team – 2012-2013
• 1st Team – 2013-2014, 2014-2015