Rising Star: Hesston’s Cason Richardson
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - As the leader of the defending 3A State Basketball Champion Swathers, Hesston senior Cason Richardson has grown a lot in his four years on varsity, but it hasn’t been a walk in the park.
Some of Richardson’s earliest memories involve a basketball.
“My dad has been the girl’s basketball coach here ever since I was little,” said Hesston senior Cason Richardson. “Ever since I could walk, I’ve had a ball in my hand and I’ve been in the gym ever since I could remember.”
“Four years of experience, an intense competitor. I mean, he is nasty. He’s been our leader for a long time and he’s the defending 3A player of the year, so he’s got a lot of accolades and things but he’s a heck of a player,” said Hesston boys basketball coach Greg Raleigh.
But in the summer going into his junior year, Richardson tore his ACL.
“Six months is a long time. I’ve had multiple sisters go through it and that’s something I wouldn’t wish on any athlete, it’s awful and you have to relearn how to do a lot of stuff,” said Richardson. “But I love this sport, I love my teammates and it’s just really important to me and it was hard. It definitely wasn’t easy but I’m glad I did it and I’m glad we’re back to where we’re at right now.”
“Tearing his ACL last year was terrible, but he worked his tail off,” said Raleigh. “He was ready to go, he was dunking by November, chomping at the bit. When he got going, he’s a hundred percent physically ready and there’s no body tougher mentally than him.”
From undergoing surgery in July, to returning to his team in January and only missing five games of his junior basketball season, Richardson was a key part in winning the school’s first state championship in nearly a decade.
“I think it gave me a different perspective and I looked at the game differently and I think that especially defensively, I anticipate better because I’ve seen stuff from the sidelines all summer long. I’ve gotten better and used to my teammates’ tendencies,” said Richardson. “So, I think that tearing it was a blessing in disguise a little bit in terms of mental growth.”
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