Ricky Rijos Jr. | KERA News

Ricky Rijos Jr.

Ricky Rijos Jr.
Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Ricky Rijos finished up high school in January, but he waited until June to get his diploma with his classmates from Flower Mound High School. He's headed to the University of North Texas this fall. Ricky's learned some hard lessons over the last four years, including one that may actually take a lifetime to deal with — the death of his best friend.

ESPN

We’ll turn now to a follow-up of our American Graduate series “What’s Next for The Class Of ’17?” Earlier, we caught up with Ricky Rijos Jr., an 11th grader at Flower Mound High School. He’s a basketball fanatic – but he’s only 5’6”, and after sitting on the bench he says he’s giving up the sport.

Fran Fraschilla can relate. He’s a former college coach, a current announcer for ESPN and the father of two boys who never reached 6 feet tall. Fraschilla, by the way, is all of   5’7”.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

Like a lot of high school juniors, Ricky Rijos Jr. of Flower Mound High is facing uncertainty.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

For the past few years, KERA’s been checking in with students who are part of the Class of ’17. Ricky Rijos is a junior at Flower Mound High School where he loves basketball and has played every year. Now he’s trying for the varsity team but he faces tall odds. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Ricky Rijos is ratcheting up his hoop dreams. Ricky, who’s a member of KERA’s Class of ’17, has left one private basketball coach for a new, pricier one – whose clients include NBA and top college players. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

For decades, it’s been a rite of passage for American teens. Now it’s Ricky Rijos’ turn. The Flower Mound freshman is learning to drive.

Ricky is a member of KERA's Class of '17, a group of North Texas kids we’re following from eighth grade through graduation.

KERA News

Earlier this year, we introduced you to a diverse group of students making the transition from middle school to ninth grade. The series, called Class of 17, is part of a nationwide public broadcasting initiative called American Graduate.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

When we last talked to Ricky Rijos Jr. for KERA’s Class of ’17 project, the freshman at Flower Mound High confidently figured he would make one of two freshman basketball teams, and he has. It’s just not clear which one yet. He’s relatively short for now, but ninth graders have been known to grow. He belongs to a traveling team and works hard on his shooting, which he concluded would be at least one plus for the team.

Willow Blythe / KERA News

On this first day of school for most kids across the state, we check in with one of the North Texas students we’re following from 8th grade all the way to graduation. Today, we catch up with a member of KERA’s Class of 17 – Ricky Rijos Jr., who’s starting his freshman year at Flower Mound High.

Bill Zeeble / KERA

As part of a nationwide public broadcasting initiative called American Graduate, KERA is following a diverse group of North Texas eighth graders all the way through high school. Today in the series “Class of ’17,” we meet a kid whose dad dropped out of college but passed on a love of hoops and a passion for hard work.