Every time Drew Rippingham hits a 3-pointer, his thoughts go to his shoes, then skyward.
The Reno High senior has hit plenty of them this season, helping the Huskies to a 10-3 league record and second place in the High Desert League.
His grandmother, Joanne Rippingham died from cancer in December and Drew wrote on his basketball shoes, “RIP Nana.”
“Every time he makes a 3, he always points to the ski,” Reno coach Matt Ochs said. “It was a big deal. It really affected him.”
The entire Reno team went to her funeral.
Before she died, Drew was already dedicating his season to her.
“He was always talking about how, when he was playing well, it made her feel better,” Ochs said.
Rippingham wears a gold chain around his neck that belonged to her. He plans to include her in his Senior Night announcement on Tuesday, when his parents walk with him on the court.
This is his second season on the varsity and he’s averaging 12.5 points per game. he’s hitting 35 percent from 3-point range, and 74 percent from the free throw line. he’s grabbing 2.6 rebounds per game and dishing out 2.5 assists.
Rippingham is one of four seniors on the Huskies and is a team captain.
Ochs said he talks to him several times a day, not just about basketball but about everything, adding that Rippingham is goofball and has a great sense of humor.
“He’s always in my room just asking questions and we just shoot the breeze and chat about stuff,” Ochs said. “I’m going to really miss him next year. I give him a hard time, but I’m going to miss him. He’s a good kid to be around.”
Rippingham hopes to play basketball in college and has a trip planned to San Francisco State after the high school season ends later this month. He expects to redshirt his first year, in order to get bigger and better at the game. He also has several other smaller schools as possibilities.
His sister, Aly Rippingham, was at Highline University and Drew said that school could be an option for him. Aly is now playing for Simpson University.
He plans to study sports broadcasting journalism or sports medicine.
“I like spouting that stuff and I’m a loud person so I would get to talk a lot,” he said of going into sports broadcasting.
Reno hosts North Valleys on Friday and Spanish Springs on Tuesday for Senior Night.
Friday: (all doubleheaders) Girls at 5:15 p.m., boys at 7 p.m., Hug at Spanish Springs; McQueen at Reed; North Valleys at Reno; Galena at Bishop Manogue; Damonte Ranch at Carson; Douglas at Wooster.
Tuesday, Feb. 7, (all doubleheaders) Girls at 5:15 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.: Reed at Hug; North Valleys at McQueen; Spanish Springs at Reno; Bishop Manogue at Damonte Ranch; Wooster at Carson; Douglas at Galena.
Friday, Feb. 10: (all doubleheaders) Girls at 5:15 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.: North Valleys at Hug; Reno at McQueen; Spanish Springs at Reed; Bishop Manogue at Wooster; Carson at Douglas; Damonte Ranch at Galena.
Boys Basketball Standings
Spanish Springs 13-0
North Valleys 2-11
Bishop Manogue 10-3
Damonte Ranch 3-10
Girls Basketball Standings
Spanish Springs 10-3
North Valleys 5-8
Bishop Manogue 13-0
Damonte Ranch 4-9