Class of 2010 Intro: Ricky Kreklow

Ricky Kreklow

The difficult decision Ricky Kreklow has to make about his college destination in the coming months will ultimately come down to one thing: will the junior swingman from Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo., stay and play for the hometown Missouri Tigers or will he leave?

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard, who helped the Rock Bridge Bruins to a 28-3 record this season and a third-place finish at the Missouri Class 5 state championship tournament recently, has a growing list of schools recruiting him.

"Right now I have offers from mostly Missouri Valley schools right now: Creighton, Missouri State, Mizzou, Saint Louis and Southern Illinois," he said. "I'm getting a lot of interest from K-State and Minnesota. It's mostly just right now a lot of mass letters and stuff."

Kreklow knows plenty about the Missouri program.

His parents, Wayne and Susan Kreklow, are the head coach and director of volleyball operations, respectively, for the University of Missouri women's volleyball team.

He has also watched Mike Anderson turn the Tigers into a 31-win team that will be playing Saturday for a chance to go to the Final Four.

While he ultimately may end up suiting up for Mizzou, that decision to stay home and become a Tiger is not exactly an easy one.

"It can almost work two ways," Kreklow said. "It's great because I love the guys here and I love the program. But also you almost want to get away from home a little bit. You want to get the real college experience, kind of going out and being more independent, not just being right here."

Kreklow, who will play with KC Pump N Run again this summer, seems to have a good idea of what he is looking for in a college program.

"I want to play for kind of a high-major program," he said. "That's kind of my goal. Just to play for a big-time program, but to have a great time. Have really good guys with the program, because that's going to be your family for the next four years, seeing them every day. So you have to enjoy the people that work there, enjoy your teammates and also fan base. No matter what's going on you are still going to have support throughout the whole thing. Of course, also academics. With a college education you're going to get a good education overall, but that's kind of what I'm looking for."

The college coaches looking to add Kreklow to their programs see a skilled swingman who can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court and has advanced feel for the game.

There's a good chance that has been passed down from Kreklow's father, Wayne, who was an All-American basketball player at Drake University and played on the Boston Celtics' 1980-81 championship team.

The junior swingman had a productive high school season that came to an abrupt halt because of an ankle injury.

Kreklow averaged 13.7 points per game through the district round of the playoffs — which ranked second on the Bruins behind 6-8 Toledo signee Jordan Dressler — but after Rock Bridge lost in the state semifinals to Chaminade, he didn't want to risk further damage to the ankle by playing in the third-place game the next day.

Kreklow will be one of the key components on a Bruins squad that should be again one of the top teams in the Show-Me State next season.

Rock Bridge will return three starters, including point guard Justin Miller and Division I linebacker prospect Trey Millard. Miller will be a junior next year, while Millard like Kreklow will be a senior.

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