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Posted On: 11/22/16 11:26 PM
Photo Credit: The Bruin Post
In Orem– It seems Mountain View always has talented guards, and this year is no different. Ricky Stafford is looking to improve after last years strong junior season for the Bruins, and he is really working to take his game to another level this year. Ricky is the heart of this years Mountain View team and has high hopes for the upcoming season. His goal is to make the playoffs and get hot at the right time to make a run in the state tournament. Ricky Said, “This years team is balanced, and we are all friends. We love each other and have each other’s back. Prep Hoops has Ricky and the Bruins ranked to finish 4th in an absolutely loaded 4A region.
Last year Ricky averaged 10 points, 6.5 rebounds, and nearly 3 assists a game. Pair those numbers with shooting the gap defensively and making plays in clutch situations to make Stafford one of the top guards in the state. The 6’2 ,175 pound combo guard did it all for the Bruins last year and was also battling cancer. In January 2014, Ricky was diagnosed with Leukemia, changing his as well as his parents and 7 siblings lives forever. He was told by some of his doctors that he may never play basketball again and all focus should be turned to surviving this deadly disease.
Ricky was a promising young prospect coming into his 9th grade year where he started JV and made the Varsity roster. Ricky always had the talent to be special on the court and showed great potential as a player, primarily because he could really shoot the basketball. Ricky can catch fire from behind the ark, rebound, and handle the ball, but it may be the breath taking passing ability that is most valuable to his game. Creating for others and winning basketball games is all Ricky cares about, and said, ”I feel like if my team needs me to score 25 points a game then I will score 25 points a game, but if I can only have 10 and we win, that is fine. I will do whatever it takes to win this year.” Ricky is now cancer free and has a very different outlook on life and basketball. No one is going to out-work him or match that burning fire and desire to win, he truly is a special competitor.
At 15 years old and battling cancer, to a kid less than two years later scoring 17 points and pulling down 9 rebounds a state quarterfinal game. Ricky doesn’t take anything for granted and says, “I am getting stronger physically, the chemotherapy took a toll on my body, but having been done with treatment since February 24th, I’m really confident in my game and making most of what I have.” Ricky is currently cancer free and ranked as a top 20 player in the class of 2017.
Ricky says his biggest strength’s as a player are his ability lead, he believes he has the ability to really score the basketball, to shoot and handle the ball, and the mental side of the game. Ricky’s father, Rick, has been there every step of the way. From Rick’s time as a player and coach in Europe, Ricky has been taught to play the game the right way. A certain unique and crafty style of play that is luring college coaches from all over the country in the direction of Mountain View to see Ricky in action.
Ricky credits coaches and teammates for making him the player he is, and he is truly thankful to be back playing basketball. The game really gave Ricky the drive and motivation to beat cancer and to be an amazing inspiration to his teammates, coaches, and community. His heart is full and his drive is off the charts, he has the talent and work ethic to be first team all-state this year. Look for this season to be special for the Bruins of Mountain View and Stafford. Ricky sees himself as a combo guard at the next level, with the ability to play full-time point guard. With great vision and size for the point guard position, look for Ricky to be highly recruited during and after his senior season. Stafford is on Hoops ASL for AAU, coached by his father Rick Stafford, and is currently being recruited by Boise State, Southern Utah University, Utah State, Alaska Anchorage, Salt Lake Community College, and Snow College.