The old adage says, 'Familiarity breeds success.'
For Ryin Ott, that proved truthful, as the La Porte High School junior spent part of summer for the second straight year competing in the IBCA/IHSAA Underclass Showcase, the 2019 Girls’ Showcase.
Ott said she enhanced her game this time in the event, which was at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis on Monday.
“I've improved a lot, especially defensively,” Ott said. “Just knowing when to take the right shots, along with my ball handling and being more confident to be the point guard or just to get a rebound and take the ball up myself, instead of always looking to someone else. I've become more confident with that.”
Organized by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association with support from the Indiana High School Athletic Association, the Underclass Showcase events are created to give exposure to roughly 240 of the top basketball prospects, 117 girls and 120 boys, from around the state to colleges across Indiana and the country.
“I played the same way I always try to, which is as a team player,” Ott said. “I took the right shots. I rebounded well on both ends. I played solid defense and had a few assists throughout the games. Overall, I played with a disciplined, hard-working group of girls, so it was a lot of fun.”
Ott added she feels like she performed best defensively, an area of her game she takes tremendous pride in. She added that the best part about this event was just being able to play against really good competition across the state of Indiana.
“Over the years, I've tried to get better at my quickness on defense and not letting my opponent score,” she said. “And I did really well and I caused a few turnovers, which is always good.”
In addition over the summer, Ott helped La Porte High School's summer team tally a 15-5 record, defeating a superb Chicago AAU All-Star team, Lady Reign, to close the campaign, and winning the Northfield Tournament with a 3-0 mark with victories over Logansport, Fairfield and Southwood.
On top of her high school summer team success, Ott has traveled around and played with AAU team, Always 100 Wright 2021, in the summer, which has helped her greatly.
While her game is progressing, prior to this showcase, Ott received advice from her older sister, former Slicers' teammate Riley Ott, who participated with Ryin in this event last July. Riley has already moved on to the next part of her basketball career at Purdue Fort Wayne this summer.
“She told me, 'Play your best, don't compare yourself to others,'” Ryin said. “'Just play your personal best and work hard. And show off your skills and your talent and what you can do.'”
Ryin added that advice was really helpful, saying it's also benefited her not just in basketball but in life.
She was certainly delighted to represent La Porte High School in this fairly premiere showcase.
"It's something to be proud of," Ryin added. "Especially since I'm one of the only girls from La Porte to participate in this event. It's an honor to be there and get invited to it."
A season ago, the multifaceted 6-foot sophomore guard/forward averaged 15.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, while nailing 45 3-pointers.
She's striving to improve those numbers next campaign and become La Porte's undisputed leader now that her older sister has graduated. The younger Ott is understandably eager for next basketball season to begin.
“It's going to be a lot of fun,” she said. “With the players we'll have this upcoming season, it'll give us a good opportunity to place high in the DAC and maybe win the sectional. If our players step up and know their roles on the court, and we play as a team, we can be very successful."