Ritchart decides on Davis

By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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The most heavily recruited boys basketball player in the foothills in the last 15 years ended months of speculation this week. Forest Lake Christian senior Josh Ritchart verbally committed to UC Davis after drawing offers from seven Division I schools over the summer. Ritchart, a sharp-shooting 6-foot-8 forward who led Forest Lake to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title game last season, visited Air Force, Pacific and UC Davis. He said he also got scholarship offers from Nevada, San Jose State, Fresno State and St. Mary’s. The Aggies’ coaching staff and players had a big part in winning Ritchart over. “I love the coaching staff there,” Ritchart said. “I think it’s a program that’s on the rise. It’s not that far away, so my parents, friends and family can come see me.” Ritchart averaged 26.2 points, 12.3 rebounds and six blocks per game as a junior for the Falcons last season. He showed he could compete against top-level competition throughout the summer in AAU action. Ritchart said his summer highlights included the It Takes Five Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Full-Court Press All-West Camp in Los Angeles. He played with Team Superstars, a Fresno-based AAU team that included players from all over California. “I was doing well on the AAU circuit, playing in front of all the coaches,” Ritchart said. Ritchart said he put on nearly 20 pounds over the summer, bulking up to 220 pounds while improving his vertical leap. The Aggies plucked another gem from Placer County recently as well, getting a verbal commitment from 6-11 Woodcreek center Mike Kurtz. Ritchart was happy to commit to UC Davis, ending a hectic recruiting battle for his talents. “I got so many calls, I was on the phone a lot,” Ritchart said. “Now that’s all stopped. I can just keep working out and get ready to have a big senior year.”