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Ryan Larson announces commitment to University of Mary

May 28—JAMESTOWN — Picking a college was not a decision Ryan Larson wanted to rush.

"I had mixed emotions when accepting the offer because selecting a college is such a big decision," Larson, a recent graduate of Jamestown High School, said. "I wanted to make sure that I picked a school that allows me to grow in my faith, socially, academically and in basketball."

Larson announced his final pick via Twitter 18 days ago.

"I enjoyed my experience at the elite camp at U Mary and I stayed in contact with Coach (Jack) Nelson," Larson said. "I got the offer over a phone call with Coach. I decided to commit after taking a visit to the campus and seeing what a great fit the school was for me."

Larson is set to play basketball at the University of Mary next season. As of May 28, The Marauders' 2024-25 schedule has not been released.

Like many of Jamestown's youth, Larson got introduced to the world of sports early on.

"I started (playing basketball) because my parents had me try a variety of sports," Larson said. "My sister played basketball and that's one of the reasons my parents had me try playing. I also played hockey for a long time but in fifth grade the basketball and hockey schedules conflicted too much so I had to choose.

"I chose basketball because I love the game," he said. "My first memories playing basketball were learning how to play in the local park and recreation program and the YMCA camps."

Larson's older sister, Megan, was a huge contributor to the Blue Jays' hoops program.

"She has helped me become the player I am by teaching me everything she learned while she played and going to the gym with me to work out," Larson said. "I also learned a lot from her work ethic and I think that is something that has stuck with me."

Larson started becoming interested in pursuing collegiate basketball in 2017 when he started playing AAU basketball for ND Phenom.

"My biggest motivators in my journey has been my parents," Larson said. "They have given me many opportunities to improve and play the sport I love. Without my parents and the sacrifices they made in their schedule, I would never have been able to travel all over the Nation doing camps, tournaments, and training. I am very grateful for everything they have done for me."

Larson's parents have certainly upped the mileage as he's gotten older.

"Summer basketball tournaments and practicing in Bismarck twice a week grew my skills rapidly and my love for the game," Larson said. "Going into my freshman year of high school I started playing with the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, Sout Dakota and that was another big step in my growth as a player."

Larson's sophomore year of high school, he started on the Blue Jays' varsity hoops squad. Larson was a three-year starter for the Jays. He ended his senior season with 243 points across his 517 minutes played. He averaged 12.8 points per game.

Larson was the Jays' second-leading rebounder with 106 boards nabbed during the 2023-24 season. He led the team in assists with 43 and managed nine blocks and 14 steals.

His numbers didn't just happen.

After his sophomore season, Larson made the top 30 player list at a large camp in Chicago which boosted his confidence and showed coaches I could play at a high level. Last summer Larson played with MN Sizzle team and competed in tournaments with many top level players.

"All of these experiences were major parts of my recruitment journey," Larson said. "I have wanted to play collegiate basketball since about fifth grade and getting the opportunity to play at U Mary is a realization of those dreams."

U Mary is a Catholic University with teachings that Larson said are important to him as he grew up in a Catholic home, and attended Jamestown's St. John's Academy. Larson also said the location of the campus was a positive.

"The campus is close to home so my family can make it to my games and it has a very good computer science program," Larson said. "The school checked all my boxes of things that were important to me. I am excited at the same time for my future career at U Mary. I am grateful for the opportunity and hope to be a model for younger kids pursuing their goals."

Larson will be officiallly moving to Bismarck later this summer but said he is planning on helping with some U Mary camps and play in open gyms with his new teammates before he officially starts training with the team for his inagural collegiate season.

"I am expecting a full schedule being a student athlete," Larson said. "I am ready for the challenge and excited to continue my basketball career in college. I'm very excited to play at UMary and I can't wait to get started."