Rick Rickert retiring after a 15 year professional basketball career

BleedGopher

Active member
per Shooter:

After 15 seasons playing basketball professionally for teams in Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Spain, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Japan, Rick Rickert has decided to retire from basketball.

“Just thought it was time,” the classy 2001 Mr. Basketball Minnesota from Duluth East said. “My daughter is getting older, and we wanted to be back in the States. And it’s time to make the transition while I’m healthy — I don’t want to have life-long injuries. I’m taking my health right now and counting my blessings.”

Rickert, 35, had one more year on a contract in Japan that paid him well, he said. Last season for the Ibaraki Robots, the 6-11, 240-pounder averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Rickert left the Gophers, for whom he was named Big Ten freshman of the year, after two seasons for the 2003 NBA draft and was taken in the second round by the Timberwolves.

“That was the LeBron (James) draft,” he said.

The Wolves dispatched Rickert to the then D-League, and from there he began his worldwide odyssey in Greece.

This spring, Rickert completed his college degree in nutrition and communications online through Arizona State. Living in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with wife Cici, the former Gophers tennis MVP and 9-year-old daughter Pepper, he’s considering a career in sales.

“I’m in a job search right now — I like dealing with people,” he said.

Rickert’s favorite stop during his globe-trekking career?

“There were so many great places, but living-wise, New Zealand was probably the best,” he said.

https://www.twincities.com/2018/07/07/charley-walters-mauers-getting-ready-for-child-no-3/

Go Gophers!!
 

BleedGopher

Active member

macgopher

Active member
per Shooter:

After 15 seasons playing basketball professionally for teams in Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Spain, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Japan, Rick Rickert has decided to retire from basketball.

“Just thought it was time,” the classy 2001 Mr. Basketball Minnesota from Duluth East said. “My daughter is getting older, and we wanted to be back in the States. And it’s time to make the transition while I’m healthy — I don’t want to have life-long injuries. I’m taking my health right now and counting my blessings.”

Rickert, 35, had one more year on a contract in Japan that paid him well, he said. Last season for the Ibaraki Robots, the 6-11, 240-pounder averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Rickert left the Gophers, for whom he was named Big Ten freshman of the year, after two seasons for the 2003 NBA draft and was taken in the second round by the Timberwolves.

“That was the LeBron (James) draft,” he said.

The Wolves dispatched Rickert to the then D-League, and from there he began his worldwide odyssey in Greece.

This spring, Rickert completed his college degree in nutrition and communications online through Arizona State. Living in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with wife Cici, the former Gophers tennis MVP and 9-year-old daughter Pepper, he’s considering a career in sales.

“I’m in a job search right now — I like dealing with people,” he said.

Rickert’s favorite stop during his globe-trekking career?

“There were so many great places, but living-wise, New Zealand was probably the best,” he said.

https://www.twincities.com/2018/07/07/charley-walters-mauers-getting-ready-for-child-no-3/

Go Gophers!!
Good for him, nice way to end his BB days.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

Over Macho Grande?
I remember where I was when I heard (and most definitely celebrated!) he had committed to the Gophers. One of the happiest I’ve ever been with any Gopher commit. It was huge.
 

Bob_Loblaw

Active member
I wonder if his career would have been any different in today's NBA. He was a pretty ideal "stretch 4"/"stretch 5" before it became such a prominent thing.
 

BleedGopher

Active member
A good long interview/story with Rick:

And Rickert was the biggest draw, attracting such college coaches as Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Lute Olson (Arizona) and Tom Izzo (Michigan State). Rickert initially said he was going to Arizona before changing his mind and staying home by committing to Minnesota.

"I was struggling with that for a really long time," Rickert said. "There was some back and forth, and, ultimately, I changed my mind. I went with Minnesota, and the rest is history.

"It's really a difficult situation for a high school kid to be in, not just for myself, but every kid that goes to the next level. It may seem like a no-brainer or easy, but it's not."

From college to pro

Rickert didn't disappoint at Minnesota, becoming the first Gopher to win Big Ten freshman of the year honors after averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds in 2001-02.

It was during this time that Rickert participated in the Michael Jordan Flight School Basketball Camp in Santa Barbara, Calif., serving as counselors along with the likes of future NBA players Nick Collison, Kirk Heinrich, Carmelo Anthony and a high schooler by the name of LeBron James.

The counselors would lead the players through games and drills, and then play pickup games at the end of the day with Michael Jordan, to the children's delight.

"I was on the court playing in front of 500 kids, with arguably the two best players in basketball history on the court together in Michael Jordan and LeBron James, and I was guarding LeBron," Rickert said, laughing. "Talk about a tough guard. He drove the lane, and I'm like, 'All right, I'm sticking with him.' Then he did a step back on me. I swear he was almost in the lane, and he created 10 feet of separation and nailed a 3-pointer, and I was like, 'Man, this guy can play.' What an awesome experience."

It was also at Minnesota where he met Cici Anderson, his future wife and MVP of the Gophers women's tennis team. Rickert averaged 16 points and six rebounds his sophomore season and was taken in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 55th overall selection.

Rickert said if he had any regrets, it was that he didn't opt for the NBA after his freshman season.

"There was a lot of buzz after my freshman year, and I think it would have been a better route for me," Rickert said. "It would have given me one more year as a professional, but hindsight is 20/20. You make your decisions based on the knowledge that you have and then roll with it. Nothing's ever going to go perfect. You just have to make the most of everything you have, every day that you have."

http://www.inforum.com/sports/basketball/4471527-former-minnesotan-ends-pro-basketball-career

Go Gophers!!
 
Top