May 3, 2010
Senior Ryan Reid earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State on May 1, 2001. In doing so he became the first person in his family to earn a college degree. His success on the basketball court equaled his success in the class room as he led the Seminoles to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances during his career.
Think back to the day you decided to play basketball at Florida State. What was the first thing you remember thinking about your decision?
“I remember thinking that is was a great decision for me and my family. At the time I signed to attend Florida State and play for Coach Hamilton and his staff my mom was sick so I wanted to stay close to her. I was able to attend the school of my choice, play basketball for the coach I really wanted to play for and stay close to home. Florida State and Coach Hamilton offered me everything I could have asked for and more. It was and has always been one of the best decisions of my life.”
What is the best thing Coach Hamilton has said to you during your career? “The best thing is one of the first things he ever said to me – that I was going to graduate from Florida State when my playing career was completed. He has pushed me and stayed on me throughout my career and I am going to graduate in May. I am going to be the first person from my family to graduate from college. I have put in a lot of hard work but Coach Hamilton has worked just as hard to stay true to his word. That’s what he does for his players – he stays true to his word and will work as hard for you as a person as you work for him as a player.”
Of the many wins you have been a part of during your career, which one standout more than the others?
“We beat both North Carolina and Duke from the ACC and Florida during my career – so those really standout and are wins that I will always remembers. But there great thing about playing for Coach Ham is that we play teams from all over the country in some great arenas. We played at all of the ACC schools, at Ohio State, in the tournament that we won in Las Vegas and in the state of Florida so my family and friends could see me play. We played in the ACC Tournament championship game and in the NCAA Tournament in Boise, Idaho. Playing basketball at Florida State has allowed me to see different parts of the country that I had never seen before.”
What is the funniest thing you have ever heard an opposing fan yell at you?
“The Duke fans asked me why I put extensions in my hair. I don’t and I am very proud of my hair but it was funny to hear. Some of the things you hear fans say just make you stop and laugh. That was the biggest laugh I got from what a fan has said or yelled at me.”
When Coach Hamilton calls a timeout, he almost always tells me/us to…
“He always tells us to box out and play defense. I learned early one that to play for Coach Hamilton you need to play defense. He’s a great teacher and all of the coaches have taught us to stick to our defensive principles even when nothing else is going well for us. They have made a believer out of me that defense wins championships and good defense creates easy offense.”
Who would you consider to be the best player you played with or against while you were at Florida State?
“Al Thornton was a great player – he was the best I have played with or against during my career. I had to play against him every day in practice and he definitely made me a better player. He worked so hard and spent so many hours in the gym practicing and getting up shots. Al and Toney Douglas are two of the hardest working players I have ever been around. Watching those two players and how they prepared to practice and play made me want to work even harder to get better. Both of those players improved themselves on a daily basis and I have always wanted to follow their footsteps. The work ethic that I learned from is something that I feel will help me later in my career and later in life.”
When you were growing up, when did you realize that you might be a good enough player to play in the ACC?
“When I was growing up I was always one of the tallest players on the playground and on my teams. I always hoped that I could play at the top level in college and knew that I would have to work very hard to reach my goals and have my dreams come true. When Coach Hamilton started to recruit me and I saw that he believed in me it was then that I thought my dreams could become reality. I really believed in myself when Coach Hamilton began to believe in me. The great thing about Coach Hamilton is that he never stopped believing in me as a player or a person. His belief in me is why I am going to graduate from Florida State.”
What is the one basketball memory of Florida State that will always stick in your mind?
“The one thing that I will always remember is going to the NCAA Tournament during my junior season. When they call our team on the selection show is just showed that everything Coach Hamilton said was right. He said from day one that if we believed in him and the coaching staff that we could do great things. He was right. I will always remember that first season going to the NCAA Tournament because I know that that was just the start of something great for Florida State basketball. I expect the Seminoles to go to the NCAA Tournament every year and I can look back and think with pride that I was one the team that turned things around and brought the glory back to the program.”
What will you miss the most about playing basketball at Florida State?
“I will miss my teammates the most because they have all become family to me. We do everything together and have been through a lot of things in basketball and away from basketball. I know that I can go that any one of the teammates I have ever had at Florida State and they will be there for me. I will also miss the great fans at Florida State and how much they have helped us by sticking behind us. The Tucker Center has become a tough place to play because of our fans.”