(Photo: Eliav Gabay/WCSN)
Choosing which college you will spend four years at can be a difficult decision to say the least. However, for freshman point guard Reili Richardson, picking ASU to play her college hoops wasn’t such a wearying decision.
When Richardson was electing to become a Sun Devil she knew that ASU was an elite program.
“It’s a really good program,” Richardson said. “I liked everyone on the team, the coaches are awesome and my dad went here and that gave me a little more of a reason to come [to Arizona State].”
The freshman point guard’s father, Mike was a two-time consensus All-American safety at ASU. In addition, Mike was a starter on the Chicago Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl Championship team.
Richardson is a long athletic 5-9 guard from Brea, California and played her high school basketball at Brea Olinda.
Richardson’s high school basketball coach prompted head coach Charli Turner Thorne to start recruiting her around her sophomore year.
“I sent [assistant coach] Jackie Moore out within a week or two to go watch her and she liked her, “ Turner Thorne said.
Initially Turner Thorne thought Richardson was unassuming. It wasn’t long after, that the ASU coaching staff found Richardson’s game attractive, as the program offered her an invitation to Elite Basketball Camp.
“When we got her at Elite Camp we thought, this kid is incredible,” Turner Thorne said. “We knew she could be great defensively, we knew she had great awareness and elusiveness on offense. We knew we wanted her, it was just about the process of getting her.”
Richardson brings an interesting dynamic to the team, and even provides quite a laugh for her teammates off the court.
Coach Turner Thorne says she is so quiet but yet very aware, and the freshman point guard’s teammates don’t hesitate to make a joke out of Richardson’s observant personality.
“She’s always staring,” Turner Thorne said. “It’s kind of funny because she’s just kind of quiet and laid back, but they always tease her because she stares. They will be in restaurant and she will be looking at people and they will be like, ‘stop staring at those people’. So she’s kind of a looky-loo, which is funny.”
Charli Turner Thorne also mentioned how she jokes around with Richardson, and says those same observant skill translate directly to the hardwood.
“When she’s not on the basketball court, she’s kind of taking everything in,” Turner Thorne said.
The freshman is playing well and is currently eight assists away to break the programs single-season record for the most assist by a freshman.
Reili has a bright future at ASU and has a chance to leave a legacy at the point guard position.
“I think she could be an All-American,” Tuner Thorne said. “If she works hard enough I think she can be one of the best point guards in the country, and I don’t say that lightly. I certainly think she will leave here in the record books.”
The freshman standout mentioned she is really enjoying the decision of becoming a Sun Devil.
“I like it a lot,” Richardson said. “I’m glad I chose this school, I mean I love it.”