All eyes were on Ryann Bennett and her family Thursday at St. Anthony High during a lunchtime signing ceremony as the girls’ basketball senior captain is takes her talents to UC Davis next year.
“Their coaching staff has been really great and they’ve been looking at me ever since I was a freshman,” said Bennett of choosing UC Davis where she wants to study sports psychology. “So, they love everything about me and I love everything about them and their team.”
In front of a crowd of family, friends, teammates and classmates, Bennett was seated behind her signing table while her coach and dad Ray Bennett took the mic.
“As a dad I can’t express how proud I am,” he said. “It’s an advantage when you have a point guard who sees the game and thinks the way that you (as a coach) think, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be grooming this one since the fourth grade. We have a lot of trust because there’s been a lot of car rides where we’ve discussed X’s and O’s so her basketball IQ is second to none, as far as I’m concerned.”
As the Saints point guard Bennett has been named First-Team All Del Rey League three times and All-CIF twice. She went over 1,000 career points last year and was named the 2023 Long Beach Century Club St. Anthony Girls’ Athlete of the Year. Bennett also carries a 4.33 GPA.
“I’m so excited for her,” said mom Stephanie Bennett. “She works so hard in school and academics. She’s focused on trying to reach this goal since fourth grade. She’s had setbacks with COVID, injuries, and she always adjusted. That’s what I’m most proud of, she didn’t let anything hold her back and kept moving forward.”
Stephanie took part in as many pictures as possible while carrying around her phone screen facing out in front of her. On the other end was older sister Taylor Bennett, who also graduated from St. Anthony. She is currently playing professionally in Malta for Luxol BC and was on FaceTime throughout the ceremony.
“I miss her a lot, and it’s like 11 hours ahead there so I’m just glad she’s able to join us,” Ryann said. “I definitely want to follow in her footsteps, she set a great leadership path for me and she means a lot to me.”