Hines bound for prep school in Vegas [Basketball]

August 9, 2012

After watching other Anchorage boys basketball players reap the rewards of prep school, Ryden Hines of Anchorage figured he’d take the same path.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pound all-state forward said he has been accepted to the prestigious Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, where he will enroll in a seven-month training program.

“I wanted to develop my skills more in the gym and get bigger, faster, stronger,” Hines told me. “After going to AAU tournaments I realized the thing that separated me the most was my foot speed, so going to Impact will really help me.”

Hines, of Dimond High fame, will join other Anchorage players to go to prep school like Derrick Wilson, Tommy Hobbs and Devon Bookert. It worked out for them.

Wilson is at Marquette University, Bookert and Florida State University and Hobbs is rumored to be headed to the University of New Orleans.

Hines didn’t receive an offer from a D1 school but believes his stock will rise after attending the Impact Academy.

Program director Tim Reinhardt of Las Vegas agrees.

“The kids in Alaska don’t get the exposure and experience that the kids down here get,” he told me. “It’s a big deal for any kid to understand the recruiting process, to understand the daily schedule – what it takes to be a successful at the collegiate level – to understand the competition.

“It’s a huge confidence booster to already know that you went through a seven-month program at a player development facility going into your freshman season. You are going to be fully prepared for that experience.”

Hines had opportunities this year to sign with D2 schools, most notably nationally ranked UAA, but opted to go to prep school instead.

“I certainly liked the offers that I have,” he said.

Hines didn’t rule out going to UAA in 2013.

“If you’re going to play D2, might as well be a really good D2 player,” he said.

At the same time, though, his combination of height and upside should translate into a D1 offer by then.

“If you look at his body he is an athlete that needs a year of maturity,” Reinhardt said. “Once he puts that mature muscle on I think he’s really gonna blossom. Watching his development will be a pretty special thing.

“After this seven-month program you are going to see a very different player. He has a lot of potential, a lot of room to grow and we’re excited to start that process.”