College Basketball Recruiting Heats Up for Lab Museum’s Rianne John
By Jerry Del Priore
Richard John wanted his daughter, Rianne, to participate in some type of sport as a freshman at Lab Museum United High School in Chelsea, Manhattan.
“When she came into high school, I told her I wanted her to get into a sport in her freshman year,” Richard said. “I told her to pick a sport, any sport, I didn’t care.”
He said it wasn’t until Rianne’s sophomore year when she decided to sign up for tennis, volleyball and basketball.
Though Rianne didn’t have any organized basketball experience at the time, she decided to choose hoops in her second year at the school because her dad’s love of the sport infected her, too.
It’s now paying dividends for the senior as she said she’s garnering interest from college basketball programs, including Division 2 Niagara University, and Division 3 State University at Old Westbury and Buffalo University, along with the school she has her heart set on—D3 SUNY Purchase.
Getting recruited wasn’t something John saw as a possibility because she wasn’t as good as her teammates in her sophomore year, she noted. That all changed over time, however, as hard work on the hardwood changed her mindset.
“When I started, and I saw my other teammates, how talented they were, I didn’t think it was possible,” the Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn, native explained of receiving college basketball interest. “But playing in the summer with coach and the spring, and just throughout the season, coming to practices, and developing, I saw that I slowly began to improve. And that I could potentially be like the girls I saw playing in my sophomore year.”
However, life as a student-athlete was something new to her at first, and Richard said his daughter needed to work on it to get right. All she needed was a good example: her Mother.
“The transition of balancing basketball and school was rough for the first year,” he said. “And she got behind last year, her most important year, junior year, but she’s picking it up now. She just took her SAT two weeks ago. As with basketball, she’s heading in the right direction, because her mother’s back in college, and she now sees the work you that have to put in. And she’s supper, super focused.”
John is enjoying a fine season thus far, averaging 8.89 points per game along with eight rebounds through nine tilts for the Lady Gators, who are 9-0 in the Manhattan Class A West division.
Typically utilized as the muscle of the squad, the five-eight, 160-pound forward scored a season-high 20 points in a lopsided 96-14 winning effort against the High School of Economics & Finance Friday night at home.
“I want her to be our anchor on defense, our inside presence,” Lab Museum United head coach Michael Lloyd said. “I definitely want her to control the boards, run the rim, and kind her be like an old-school big man post player that’s missing from the game.”
While John started her basketball career late, Lloyd lauded his player for her ability to overcome her inexperience, and improve to the point of getting noticed by colleges.
“She’s definitely a late bloomer,” Lloyd said. “But it just shows you if you keep working hard and got good teaching fundamentals and a good work ethic, you can catch up. She’s getting recruited by several schools. She just works.”