WHEELING, W.Va. (BVM) – Young basketball players across the country always imagine themselves on the biggest stages: the NBA, Division I college basketball and the McDonald’s All-American Game. While many dream of making the McDonald’s All-American roster, only a select few get the honor of being selected. Before one can be selected however, they first must be nominated for a spot which in itself is a huge feat. That’s exactly what Wheeling Central Catholic High School senior Ryan Reasbeck discovered on Jan. 12, when he learned he was one of the elite few to be nominated as a McDonald’s All-American 2022 Southeast Nominee.
“It’s definitely a really cool feeling,” Reasbeck said. “You grow up as a basketball fan just seeing those McDonald’s All-American Games, seeing all the great players playing in it, so just to be nominated in the pretty small number throughout the country with a lot of great players, it’s an unreal feeling. I’m pretty happy about it.”
— McDonald's All American Games (@McDAAG) January 12, 2022
The Southeast is not an easy area to get nominated as so many states and so many elite programs call the region home. Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia are all represented and players from nationally-recognized programs like Montverde Academy and Oak Hill Academy are among the nominees. Also in that list is a small pocket of West Virginians, three in total, with one being Reasbeck and the others being Parkersburg South point guard Ashton Mooney and Poca shooting guard and Virginia commit Isaac McKneely being the other.
“I go to school in Wheeling so a lot of people throughout the state kind of forget about the Northern panhandle and Wheeling so it was kind of cool to represent that area and my school,” Reasbeck said. “There’s some pretty good players throughout West Virginia so being one of only three is pretty cool.”
Reasbeck is more than deserving of the nod too. As a junior last season, Reasbeck helped Catholic Central transition from the smaller Class A classification to the bigger Class AAA without much trouble. Despite the jump, the Maroon Knights were able to finish as state runner-ups thanks in part to Reasbeck’s performance as he averaged 22.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists on the year, earning West Virginia Sports Writers Association first team all-state honors.
“Playing against better competition throughout the state and making it to the state championship game gave us a taste of what it’s like and gave us a sense that we can definitely do it,” Reasbeck said.
This year, Reasbeck once again has Catholic Central competing at a high level. Currently, the Maroon Knights have a 7-1 record with their lone loss of the season coming against Dover from Ohio, showing they’re among the elite teams in the state. Leading the way has been Reasbeck who once again has been a leader for the Knights as they make their way towards tournament season.
“A lot of guys from last year’s team are coming back and I like the group we have right now so that experience from last year will definitely help,” Reasbeck said. “Last year helped me become a better leader and a better teammate [this year]…The main goal is to win a state championship, every year. We’ve usually come close every year so definitely this year is to win a state championship and whatever it takes to do that as a player or as a team I think we can definitely do it.”
— Ryan Reasbeck (@RyanReasbeck) December 23, 2021
Unfortunately for Reasbeck, his play so far hasn’t quite connected to high level college programs. While the 6-foot-3 combo guard has shown the ability to play at an elite level, Reasbeck’s only public offer so far has come from Division II in-state program Wheeling University. With his performance as a senior already grabbing the attention of more people nationally, including those running the McDonald’s All-American Game, perhaps Reasbeck will see a bump in his interest over the coming months.
“I’ve kind of let things come to me. I always tell myself to control the things you can control so I just try to come in with the attitude of getting better every day, making my team better, trying to win each game and things will follow, especially with recruitment,” Reasbeck said. “It’d be nice to [see a bump]. It’s always nice to get more recognition. Any publicity is good publicity some people say so I think it should. It’s definitely a high honor so it’s pretty good in terms of recruiting.”
— Ryan Reasbeck (@RyanReasbeck) July 15, 2021
As a nominee for the McDonald’s All-American Game, Reasbeck has achieved a dream many child basketball players wish for, an impressive feat no doubt. While he continues to show his skills to those in West Virginia and beyond, Reasbeck will focus on helping his team take the next step by not just appearing in the state championship game, but winning the whole thing. Maybe that, coupled with his increasing popularity, will earn him the opportunity to earn the next dream for young hoopers, playing at a Division I program. Only time will tell, but for whoever is getting this elite West Virginia basketball star, they will certainly improve their team the minute he steps on campus.
“Every day I show up and give my best whether that’s on the court or in the classroom, I don’t think I’d be the guy you have to worry about failing classes or not showing up to practice,” Reasbeck said. “Overall, I want to get better every day. I have the mindset of wanting to get better at different aspects of the game every day.”