Kickapoo's Jared Ridder named Gatorade Player of the Year

Kickapoo's Jared Ridder named Gatorade Player of the Year

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Kickapoo's Jared Ridder named Gatorade Player of the Year

The Gatorade Company announced Jared Ridder of Kickapoo High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Missouri Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Kickapoo Chiefs forward Jared Ridder (34) lets off a shot right before the buzzer signaling the end of third quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 quarterfinal between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Rock ridge High School Bruins at Southern Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. on March 11, 2017. Ridder would make the shot and the Kickapoo Chiefs would go on to win the game 71-65.

Kickapoo Chiefs forward Jared Ridder (34) lets off a shot right before the buzzer signaling the end of third quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 quarterfinal between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Rock ridge High School Bruins at Southern Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. on March 11, 2017. Ridder would make the shot and the Kickapoo Chiefs would go on to win the game 71-65.

Ridder is the second Gatorade Missouri Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Kickapoo High School after Spencer Laurie in 2003. The award, given for outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Ridder as Missouri’s best high school boys basketball player. Ridder becomes a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced later in March.

The 6-foot-7, 195-pound senior forward led the Chiefs to a 26-5 record and a berth in the Class 5 semifinals, which resulted in a third-place finish. Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 57.5 percent from the floor. A First Team All-State selection, he is ranked as the state’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2017 by PrepHoops.com.

Ridder is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has volunteered locally on behalf of an area homeless shelter and as a youth basketball coach.

“Jared Ridder has to be at or near the top of the many talented players we have produced at our school,” Kickapoo coach Dick Rippee said. “He is well-known for his shooting ability but sometimes his other skills go unnoticed. He has a very high basketball IQ and I believe he is top player in the state of Missouri this season.”

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Ridder holds a 3.57 grade point average. He has signed to play basketball on scholarship at Xavier University this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Ridder will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support.

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