Paradise Valley senior Ryan Finley has made a name for himself on the football field as one of the top quarterbacks in Arizona. He finished his senior football season as the state’s top passer and is going to be taking those quarterbacking skills up to Boise State next fall.
In the mean time, Finley is making the most of his last semester in high school playing the sport that was his first love before football.
“Basketball is what I played first,” said Finley. “I started playing football my freshman year and ever since it’s kind of just clicked.”
Finley quarterbacks the Paradise Valley basketball team as well as he has been a guard on the varsity team since his sophomore. He was the starting point guard back then and now as a senior plays more of a combo guard position which free’s him up for his good looking three point shot.
Finley is used to facilitating offenses both on the gridiron and the hardwood. So which is more difficult?
“Football,” explained Finley. “There is a lot more going on. You read a lot more defenses. I have the ball a lot more in football.”
These days you see players focus more on one sport rather than multiple regardless if they are good enough. That is especially the case when you are being recruited to play one of those sports at a major division I program. But Finley wanted to make the most of his final days in high school and play organized basketball for the last time before being a Bronco quarterback becomes a full time job.
“I had good enough grades to graduate early but I wanted to play basketball and finish this out with the guys for my senior year,” mentioned Finley. “He (Boise State head coach Chris Peterson) told me to enjoy my last semester of high school.”
As a stand out performer in both basketball and football, Finley is destined for success being such a great athlete. However, if neither works out down the line, Finley has a third plan if all else fails.
“My third plan is Olympic ping-pong.”
So make sure to keep an eye out for Ryan Finley in 2016 representing the United States in Rio de Janiero, Brazil rocking the ping-pong paddle.