Hard work and dedication do pay off, and 7-foot, 2-inch Menomonee Falls senior Ryan Bross is living proof of that.
Most successful basketball players are groomed from a young age and are virtually born dribbling the pumpkin – as Clark Kellogg would say. However, Bross didn’t focus on the sport until recently.
Just 18 months ago, Bross picked up a basketball after years away from the game and set his sights on getting onto the court as a varsity hoopster as a junior. Bross, the definition of a late bloomer in the sport, dedicated himself to becoming a better basketball player – and he did.
On Tuesday, Bross officially signed with University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and will have a chance to play NCAA Division 1 basketball next year. Schools like Georgetown University, Creighton University, and Mississippi State showed interest in Bross. The University of Wyoming even offered him a full ride.
“I fell in love with Green Bay. It’s close to home and I fit in well with the team,” Bross said.
Bross signed his official papers in front of younger teamates at Menomonee Falls High School Tuesday.
“Guys, this is what hard work can get you,” said Indians Head Coach Dan Leffel to the younger players attending his signing event. “You not only can earn an opportunity to play basketball at college, but also get a high-class education.”
Bross’ ascendance in the sport started when his teammate JP Tokoto spotted him across the room at registration before their junior year. Standing roughly a foot above his other classmates, he wasn’t hard to find. They grabbed a basketball and shot a bit, and Bross started working at improving his game from there.
Bross hit the gym hard in the mornings and managed his schoolwork as well. He trained with Athlete Perofrmance, which is the same organization Tokoto trained with. He also played AAU ball last summer, and has a challenging regimen ahead of him to prepare for the season.
Bross plans to study Human Biology or Environmental Science when he heads to Green Bay.