Westchester has produced its share of Division 1 basketball players, but there haven’t been many local recruiting frenzies like the one currently surrounding Matt Ryan.
The Cortlandt Manor resident is a junior at Iona Prep in New Rochelle and is one of the most sought-after basketball players in the state.
A sharp-shooting small forward who stands about 6’6”, Ryan is ranked as the 109th best junior by www.Rivals.com. Ryan has received two dozen offers from Division 1 schools, including powerhouses such as Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, and interest from Duke, University of North Carolina, and the University of Kentucky, among many others. He spent the last two summers playing Amateur Athletic Union basketball for the New York City-based New Heights program, raising his profile for college coaches.
Last year, as a first-time starter on Iona’s varsity, Ryan realized that he was rising fast in the basketball world.
“Last year when [the season] started, I became a focal point for the offense and a leader on the court right away,” he says. “And then, once I had a few good games, I started getting box-and-one [defense] a little bit, and that was when I realized, ‘Damn, I got the respect of this league already as a sophomore.’”
Ryan says he’s been “working hard just to have recognition from the best of the best, and now that it’s happening, I just have to consider where I’m going to go and have a big impact and hopefully leave a good legacy.”