Hunter Ruck Gets a Second Chance

It’s not every day you will hear someone say that a kid who stands 6-foot-9 and tips the scales at somewhere around 210-pounds is lucky to be on a basketball court.  That’s somewhat equivalent to a mathematician deciding to become a accountant.  However, in Rancho Solano Prep’s 2020 big man Hunter Ruck’s case, he IS lucky to still be on a basketball court.

 

On Tuesday, April 10th Ruck left a practice with his Powerhouse 16U Elite team at his high school.  On his way home he was involved in a car accident that left his car looking like a crushed soda can.  Forget him being able to still walk, run and jump.  Forget him still being able to play the game he loves.  Hunter is lucky to just be walking and talking with his family, friends, coaches and teammates again.  With the severity of the crash, it could very well have been a different story.

 

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Instead, Ruck hit the court with more appreciation for not just the game, but for life.

 

“I am so grateful to be alive.  God gave me a second chance and I am not going to waste it.  I feel like God gave me a second chance because he has a plan for me, but it’s up to me to go out and work for it.”

 

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His first time back on the court would be for his AAU team in the first session of the live period.  While playing for Head Coach John Ortega and his Powerhouse squad, Ruck showcased his skillset at the West Coast Elite Hoop Review event in front of numerous college coaches and scouts.  Ruck had one of the better performances of his young high school career.  He was everywhere.  Rebounding, blocking shots and finishing with countless above-the-rim dunks.  He played the way so many of his coaches and teammates knew he could. 

 

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The 16U Elite team he plays on is a squad with 7 or 8 Division-I prospects.  An athletic team with all kinds of different skillsets.  Ruck came out of the weekend as arguably the top performer on that team.  Aside from holding a 3.9 GPA, he showed why he should be viewed as one of the more recruitable players in the state.  His body seems to be filling out a little more every time I see him and his footwork has grown leaps and bounds in a short amount of time.  He finishes above the rim and uses his bulk inside to clear space for rebounds on both ends of the floor.  He gets up and down the court and is improving his motor more and more.  Playing hungrier.  Playing like it’s a blessing to be on the court again.  Because it is…

 

As much as the basketball community could have lost a great talent, the world would have been missing a better kid and human being.  Hunter comes across as a light-hearted kid who is as willing to laugh at himself as he is at somebody else.  A constant smile usually plasters his face unless he is locked in and in game-mode.  As great as it is to see Hunter getting big on the low block, it’s an even far-better feeling to see his smile, that looks a little goofy being on such a big human-being. 

 

Ruck will take the court this weekend with that same team for the 2nd live period session in Oakland for Gerry Frietas’ Nor Cal Spring Showcase.  His aim is to catch the eyes of some good academic schools and start generating some real interest from them.  The colleges that he is most interested in are the one’s that are not just rich in basketball tradition, but academics as well.

 

Relentless-Recruiting will be on hand to cover some of Ruck’s games this weekend.

Justin Vargas