One of the key components to Arundel's consistent success in recent years has been how players have been able to take on expanded roles as their careers have progressed.
Wildcats senior power forward Ryan Hill is the perfect example. Hill gained some experience by moving up to the varsity team as a sophomore, earned more time as a junior while averaging 4.3 points and 3.5 rebounds, and has now taken his game to a higher level with a breakthrough senior season.
As the team's go-to player inside, Hill, a 6-foot-4 power forward and captain, is averaging 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds for the No. 9 Wildcats (14-2).
Coming off a 24-2 season that included Anne Arundel County and District V titles, the Wildcats want to go farther this season after falling to Charles County's North Point in the Class 4A East regional title game. Continued strong play from Hill could help take them a long way this year.
Maintaining a 3.5 grade point average, Hill is still weighing his college options, with Lynchburg topping the list of interested schools. Coming from a basketball family — his older brothers Ronald and Raymond also played at Arundel — he would like to continue playing the sport and is considering physical therapy as a major.
How has your role changed since you first played on varsity as a sophomore?
My sophomore year, I was moved up to get some experience in and my role was to provide some key minutes off the bench. And then my junior year, my minutes started to increase — I wasn't starting yet — but I was putting more time in and helping the team win. This year, I assumed a starting position and became the go-to post player for the team and a good rebounder. It was a lot to handle, but I think I'm doing a pretty good job of handling it. It's just a lot of hard work down low — banging with the other big guys.
What has been the key to the team's continued success in the past few years?
We've just been resilient. We've gone up against a lot of teams that have gone on big runs late in a game, and it's just about being able to bounce back, keep the intensity up, keep the focus. That's how we stay in games and eventually win games.
What's it going to take for the team to reach states this season?
We just have to listen to the play calls from coach, work hard with hustle and effort, and play strong defense, too. Our defense has really helped us get over the hump in games.
What's the most memorable win you've enjoyed at Arundel?
I'd say winning the District V championship last year. I think that may have been my season high, that game. But we were battling with Centennial and it was a really collective team effort. Everybody contributed, whether it was the rest of the starters or the guys coming off the bench.
What was your biggest highlight on the court?
My first dunk in a game, it came recently against Meade. They were running a 2-2-1 press and we got the ball up the floor. Markus Oliphant lobbed the ball over the defender, I took one dribble and dunked it. It felt really good. They beat us in football, so we had to give them some payback.
How have your older brothers helped develop your game?
Since I was younger, they've been working with me, beating on me, getting me stronger offensively, defensively and physically. My brothers are 6-4 and 6-6, so they always taught me to never back down from anybody.
What is your earliest basketball moment?
My dad played and my mother even played, so basketball really runs in the family. My parents told me they gave me a mini rubber basketball game when I was a baby and I always had that in my hands. But I was 5 years old when I started first playing rec ball.