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Updated: May 15, 2020

The young bull is a threat on both sides of the court. Plays defense like Gary Payton and can go get a bucket like Kemba Walker. One of the top 25 players in his class, Ryder Rodriguez is a name the country better get familiar with. Let's get to know the NYC Riverside Hawk, Ryder Rodriguez 

1.When did you first start playing basketball?   I started playing at the age of 4.

2.Who has been the biggest influence on you as a student athlete and why?  My brother AJ. AJ has great focus in school and it shows in his grades. He is an honor student and he has a beautiful jump shot that I want to acquire in my arsenal someday. 

3.If you could work out and be mentored by one player in the NBA, who would it be and why?  If I had that opportunity, it would definitely be Kyrie Irving. His intelligence on the court and how he sees the floor reminds me of myself.  Also, his handle and how he moves with the ball, it’s like watching a great dance move. 

4.Tell us a little bit about some of the things you work on to improve your game?    I work on every aspect of the game because to be great, you need to play at 100% on both sides of the ball, offense and defense. I’m always working on defense because my dad always says that anyone can score but not everyone can play defense, and if you play hard on D, your coach will keep you In the game. 

5.You are a talented offensive player but where we notice your grit was on the defensive end. Do you work on any defensive drills or is that all mental?

50% mental, 50% hard work. As I said before my dad pushes me to play hard defense and the drills we work on are: sitting on defense, keeping your eyes on the offensive players waist, monkey drills and a whole lot of running.   6.What is the most important lesson your parents have taught you about being a student-athlete?  The most important lesson my parents have taught me about being a student-athlete is education first. With education, you will open up all doors. Not just one.   

7.We at Top Elite feature players and teams on the rise and those who have been exceptional for a while. What are some things you feel are your strengths as a player?    Defense, defense, defense.  Good defense leads to good offense.  On that note, be on the look out for my offense.  

8.If you had to choose one player or team as your toughest competition, who would it be?

I can’t just choose one player because there are many good players out there. Also, one player doesn’t win the game, team does.  The team I feel we match up well against is team Thrill.

9.How many hours a week do you train and what part of your game do you work on the most and why?  I would say about 15 hours a week. I mostly  work on offense. The reason why offense is my focus is because in order to win you will have to score. 

10.When you have a tough game, what are some things you do mentally that keep you motivated?  When I have a tough game and my offense is not there, I put all my energy and give 150% into my defense.  

11.If you can do and be anything else besides a basketball player when you grow up, what would it be and why?  My first option is basketball but if I would have to choose another career in my life, it probably would be Real Estate like my father or Finance like my mother.


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