Updated: Jun 11, 2022
To conclude the summer AAU cycle, The Circuit Championship at the Fantastic 40 brought together elite sneaker-affiliated and independent programs under one roof. Taking place at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, Pro Insight was on hand to cover the four-day event. In between games, we caught up with Rylan Griffen of Richardson High School (TX) and Team Trae Young (OK).
Griffen put together a strong summer on the adidas 3SSB Circuit and capped it off with an explosive performance at the Circuit Championship. A diverse scorer, Griffen is able to generate points at all three levels in seemingly effortless fashion. He plays with a competitive edge which rubs off on his teammates, as well.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Griffen discussed his background, advice he’s received, his recruitment update, his mentality, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Rylan Griffen, from Richardson, Texas:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background.
Rylan Griffen: I’m from Richardson, Texas. I go to Richardson High School, I play with my coaches and team over there. They are a good academic school and I enjoy going over there.
PI: Are there any other athletes in the family?
RG: Yeah, my dad played basketball as well as my cousins and uncles all play basketball. It kind of runs in the family. (Note: Rylan’s younger brother Rustan is a 2024 basketball prospect)
PI: Any D1 or pro players?
RG: I have a cousin in the pros playing for the Chicago Bears in the NFL, but as far as basketball they all went to D1 colleges, but they’re all done right now.
PI: Did you play football?
RG: I played football in middle school for two years, but stopped after that.
PI: You seem to play with a chip on your shoulder — where does that come from?
RG: Yeah I’ve just always played like that. Nobody really has to motivate me to work hard, play hard, or win the game. I always come on the court trying to win.
PI: What are some things that motivate you?
RG: Just everything, really. I see people talking, when people tell me I’m not good enough it really motivates me; when people make me mad it motivates me. I can take my frustration out on the court and that’s just great for me. Basketball is a great escape to let all of my stress and stuff out.
PI: When did it click that you could be a real high-level basketball player?
RG: It clicked really freshman year — a bunch of people told me I had the talent and ability to be good. They told me that I have to keep my head down and work hard. Just keep working — that’s what I’ve done and I’m going to continue to do it.
PI: Describe your game — what are your strengths?
RG: My strength is really my pull-up and getting to the basket. I shoot the 3-ball at my school and I’ve been shooting a lot of 3s out here, as well. It’s something that I can really do. On offense, I can do everything from all three levels and on defense I try to be a pest and get steals and blocks.
PI: What are some areas of improvement?
RG: My handles, definitely. More consistency on defensive rebounds and on defense, in general. In the pick-and-roll is what I really need to work on because that’s where the game is going, nowadays. That’s what I really need to work on right now — being more of an all-around offensive player, not just a scorer.
PI: What are some underrated aspects of your game?
RG: I think it’s my passing. When I drive I try to get the big the ball so he can finish. I try to kick to the open corner for my teammates to hit 3s. So I would say that.
PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?
RG: I’ve been talking with a bunch of schools — like Big 12 and SEC schools. I haven’t set up any visits yet for the fall, but I’m going to work on getting those after this tournament.
PI: Any schools staying in touch with you more than others?
RG: Yeah, the schools I’ve already visited. Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, etc.
PI: What are you looking for in your school of choice?
RG: Where I can go make mistakes because I don’t know nobody that can just play freely when they have to think about not making mistakes. Most people like to play with a free and open mind, so that’s what I’m thinking about when I’m making the decision. Just a family atmosphere. Confidence is a big deal to me...stuff like that.
PI: How do you see your role at the next level?
RG: I see myself as a guy that can just come in and win. I want to win games. My school team just preaches winning — they don’t care about shine or who is scoring the most points or who is getting the most glory. They just want to create winners and that’s what they do. We all work hard at school and my school assistant coaches work us out hard because any given day it’s somebody’s turn. People think it’s just me and my teammate Cason Wallace, but it’s not because any day can be anybody’s turn. That’s what they get us ready for and that’s what I think I’m going to bring to the next level.
PI: What’s been some of the best advice you’ve received?
RG: My school coaches and my dad told me to put my head down and keep working. They told me “stay off the media, stay off everything.” They said I could be as good as I want to be. They just say, “keep working and keep playing hard, and after that we’re going to win games.”
PI: What do you like to do off the court?
RG: I like to hang out with my friends and play Xbox a lot. Hang out with my brother, he’s two years younger than me and I’m trying to get him better than me. Trying to lead the way for him. He’s real good. He’s got all of the tools. So I’m trying to work with him on his work ethic so he can be as good as he wants to be, as well.
PI: What games to you play on Xbox?
RG: I play 2K, GTA, and Madden. They got the new Madden coming out, so I’m going to be ready for that.
PI: How would you rate yourself on 2K?
RG: I would give myself like a 90 — there’s room to grow.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
RG: TV, my phone and my headphones.
PI: What are four words that best describe you?
RG: Funny. Energetic. Competitive. Fun.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for on and off the court?
RG: Just for my competitiveness and to show people that I was always a competitor. I don’t want to go down as one of those people who could’ve been as good as somebody. I want to go down as the best me and someone that competes and wins. I want to go down as a winner, really.