Reading High basketball standout Ruben Rodriguez has decided on his future home.
And the 6-1 guard said he thinks it’s a lot like his current one.
Rodriguez, a rising senior, committed to continue his academic and athletic careers at Rider University via an 18-second video on Twitter on Friday, above which he wrote “Blessed.”
— Ruben Rodriguez (@Rubrodriguez25) August 5, 2022
“I felt like it was just the best place for me,” Rodriguez said Saturday, “me and my family.
“The whole Rider family, they showed a lot of love and a lot of support at all my games. They just really made it feel like home.”
Rider, which is located in Lawrenceville, NJ — about a 90-minute drive from Reading — went 14-19 last season, including 8-12 in the MAAC under coach Kevin Baggett.
Baggett, who will be entering his 11th season as head coach, has a 161-152 career record. He has led Rider to three national postseason appearances, the most recent a trip to the NIT as part of a 22-10 season in 2017-18.
“I feel like the whole way they play is like Reading 2.0,” Rodriguez said. “They love to play fast and they love to push the ball. The guards they have right now, the graduating senior guards, they can get downhill and penetrate. I feel like I fit in with those guards.”
The Broncs’ roster for the upcoming season includes three senior guards — two of whom are top returnees in Dwight Murray, their leading scorer last season at 13.1 points per game, and Allen Powell (12.1) — so Rodriguez said he sees an opportunity for playing time due to their departure before he arrives.
Rodriguez said he picked Rider over Drexel and St. Peter’s. In addition to Rider and Drexel, he made official visits to Mount St. Mary’s and Fairleigh Dickinson, he said.
Rodriguez is a two-time Class 6A All-State first-team pick by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers.
Last season as a junior, he was named Berks Player of the Year after averaging a county-leading 19.8 points per game, as well as 5.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.2 steals. He led the Red Knights (26-4) to their first Berks Conference title in three years and to their second straight District 3 Class 6A championship. It was the first time Reading High had won back-to-back district crowns since 1976-77.
He scored a school-record 50 points in less than three quarters in a 111-43 win over Daniel Boone in January. He scored at least 20 points in six straight postseason games, beginning with the county final vs. Berks Catholic.
He reached 1,000 points in his high school career, which began at Muhlenberg, last season. He has 1,291 overall, including 1,003 at Reading.
Rodriguez helped Reading High win the PIAA Class 6A title as a sophomore, when he scored a team-leading 14.6 points per game and was an All-Berks pick.
He is among a short list of Berks players who have been two-time first-team All-State selections, one that includes Lonnie Walker IV and Stu Jackson of Reading High, Stevie Mitchell of Wilson, Donovon Jack of Central Catholic and Berks Catholic and Ron Krick of West Reading.
Now, he will join them as college players at the Division I level, opting to make his decision on a destination well before the start of his final high school season. Rodriguez can make his choice official by signing a letter of intent during the early signing period, which runs Nov. 9-16.
“I really just wanted to take the opportunity that was given to me,” Rodriguez said of the timing of his decision. “So I just did what was best for me at the moment.”