Women's Basketball

WBB: Emily Ryan eager to get to Ames, whenever that might be

Emily Ryan and her Claflin-Central Plains High School basketball team were on pace to go 138-0 over a four-year stretch.

They were heading into the semifinals of the state tournament bracket with two games remaining on a path to perfection. Then, the state of Kansas cancelled the girls’ postseason tournament.

Although, in her last game with the school, Ryan – who will join Iowa State as a freshman for the 2020-21 season this fall – surpassed a big milestone.

The future Cyclone, who is rated as the No. 70 overall player in the nation, became the third player in Kansas HS basketball history to eclipse 3,000 points.

It was fitting that she did it in her last game Kansas, joining another former player out of her hometown in Jackie Stiles.

“It’s a huge honor, because I’ve looked up to (Stiles) because I’m from the same town as her,” Ryan said. “Just being able to be in the conversation with her is unreal to me.”

Ryan has looked up to Stiles since she went to a basketball camp that Stiles was leading during elementary school.

Ever since then, she’s kept in touch.

“I really appreciate having her to lean on if I need help with something or if there is anything I need to ask her about,” Ryan said. “We’ve had that relationship for a while.”

As expected, some compared Ryan to the legendary player that preceded her in Claflin.

However, Ryan isn’t interested in hearing them.

“There’s been some comparisons (of me to her), but I don’t like being compared to her,” Ryan said. “She’s on a different level.”

Although Ryan has an impressive resume of her own, aside from the all-time perfect mark that she has from her high school career.

She landed on an All-Kansas first team in each of her final three high school seasons and earned Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018.

When Ryan committed and eventually signed to Iowa State, she held scholarship offers from nine of the 10 Big 12 schools.

“Honestly it was just the people at Iowa State,” Ryan said. “It really truly was. The coaching staff was incredible. The players, too. I really enjoyed my visit to Iowa State.”

The only school that didn’t offer Ryan a full ride to play basketball was Baylor, who the Cyclones knocked off in what ended up to be the final game of the season.

Ryan was able to catch the game as it was happening.

“That was a fun one,” Ryan said. “I was already pretty confident in my choice, but that really sealed the deal. I can’t wait to get on campus.”

Ryan and her future teammates are communicating online through video chat on websites like Zoom, much like the rest of the country.

And, even though Ryan is sheltering in place along with the rest of Kansas, she’s just eager to get to play with the Cyclones.

“At this point, I’m just riding the wave right now,” Ryan said. “Whatever happens, happens and we can’t change it. I’m just excited to see my team.”