Ryan Woolridge was about to commit to Oklahoma State for his senior season, then Gonzaga came calling.
"I mean it's Gonzaga," said Ryan Woolridge with a chuckle. "If Gonzaga calls, you listen. I just wanted to hear them out and see what they were talking about. The coaches don't lie to me. They told me straight forward what was on the table. What the roster looked like and all that stuff. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Woolridge visited Gonzaga this past weekend and says the school checks all of his boxes.
"Just to be able to compete at a high level, be able to compete for a national championship. Be able to help me succeed in life. Just be able to push me to become a better player and better person, on and off the court. I felt like Gonzaga is the place that will be able to let me do all of those things."
The Mean Green player turned Bulldog is certainly capable of doing a lot.
"I'm sort of like a do it all player. I had over 1,000 points, almost 500 rebounds, 500 assists, 200 steals. I do it all. I like to play fast. I like to go down hill. I like to pick up, play defense, and I like to just have fun. Play the game that you love and have confidence."
Woolridge has a lot of confidence in the Zags by the way, as he picked them to win the national championship last year.
"I just loved how they played with confidence. They just flowed together. They pushed the ball a lot and that's how I like to play. Push the ball, play defense, compete, go out there and have fun. It just looks like a fun team that you want to be a part of."
Now, he gets to be a part of that team.
"Almost like a dream I would say. It's really crazy to actually be able to play for somebody who you always see on TV, and always rooting for, and always wanting to succeed... It's crazy."
With Woolridge's commitment, Gonzaga now has three players from the Dallas/Fort Worth area on the roster next season (Woolrdige, Admon Gilder, Drew Timme). Here is the portion of our conversation with Woolridge about his fellow Texas teammates for next season:
Q: Three Dallas guys on this roster at GU now. How cool is that for you?
A: It's really cool. The crazy thing is that I knew Admon when I was younger. We played on the same AAU team. We played in the All-star game together so I already kind of have history with him. Then when I was at North Texas, I was coaching a camp and that's where I saw Drew playing. So that's how I know of Drew. It's crazy how that works too.
Q: Are you excited to once again play with Admon and get to start together on the same team?
A: Oh yeah for sure. Admon's a great dude and great player. He had some injuries or whatever that kind of slowed him down. I really thought for sure that he probably would've been in the league right now, but god puts people in a position for a reason.
Q: What were your initial impressions of Drew?
A: He's.. crazy. You look at him and you don't think he's going to be that good but once he starts playing you're shocked by all the things he can do. He was doing it all basically. I was really surprised at how quick he was. I didn't expect him to be that quick.