In our new series, senior spotlights we are excited to share with you features on VK Basketball's class of 2021 high school grads, all of whom have plans to continue their basketball careers while at post-secondary this fall. These seniors had many things taken away from them and we are excited to take this opportunity to celebrate them and all of their accomplishments. We hope you will follow along as we share them with you!
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic took away Ryann Kristmanson’s last year of high school basketball, she was no stranger to adversity, having battled back from 2 ACL surgeries during her high school career. If Ryann could go back in time, she would tell her younger self to cherish every game because injuries and the Covid-19 pandemic have severely limited the number of games she has played over the last five years.
The Argyle grad hasn’t let these challenges stop her, instead choosing to focus on what she can control, namely her rehab, which allowed her to compete at the provincial championships in her grade 11 years, where her team finished 3rd. She needed to excel in the rehab phase of her second ACL tear to return for that provincial championship and perform at a level that would get the attention of university coaches. This incredible work ethic has secured Kristmanson a place as an athlete and student at the University of British Columbia for this fall, where she will pursue a degree in media studies while suiting up for the Thunderbirds.
Ryann’s love for the game started early; she grew up in the gym with her dad, former Olympian Al Kristmanson, who later coached her at Whistler Secondary before she moved to Argyle for her senior years. She credits him as the person with the most significant impact on her career. She is very grateful for their relationship as he has taught her many things on and off the court, making her the player and person she is today.
Although she never anticipated staying this close to home for university, UBC's top-notch athletics and academics, specifically the media studies program, were too good to pass on. Although Covid-19 took many recruiting experiences away from her, such as visits and opportunities to film new games, she is grateful for all the opportunities she has had. Kristmanson credits the excellent communication from UBC coaches and players for making her highly confident in her post-secondary choice. UBC is a globally ranked school known for top-notch athletic performance, and Ryann is excited to contribute to this legacy.
Anthony Beyrouti, her club and high school coach for the past two years at Argyle, has seen her work through both her injuries; “Rarely do you get to coach someone so committed to the game and to the daily grind of getting better. Ryann is set to do so many remarkable things both on and off the court. I know she was set to have an outstanding grade 12 years, and although Covid took that from her, I can’t wait to see her excel at UBC”.
Kristmanson is anxious to get back on the court, this time dressed in blue and gold, and excited to learn from and play with experienced, older players. The transition may be a challenge, but Ryann is no stranger to challenges and is excited and ready to face this one head-on as she moves to the next phase in her career as a student-athlete.
Check back tomorrow for a feature on another VK class of 2021 grad!