BELL CITY, La. (KPLC) - Bell City's Ryan White has seen his skills as a dual-sport athlete improve during his four years with the Bruins. He believes his ability to throw the discus and play forward on the basketball team go hand-in-hand.
“They both require immense explosive power," White said of both sports. "In basketball if you’re really explosive you can jump high and in discus if you’re real explosive, it’s easier to throw it further due to how the mechanics of it work.”
It all clicked for White during his sophomore year when he won the Class B title with a throw of 138 feet, five inches. However, his attempt to go back-to-back almost didn't pan out.
“At the very beginning of the year I couldn’t throw the discus to save my life," said White of the beginning of his junior year. "Nothing was going right for me and it was bad but then I found one of the throwers here at McNeese. His name is Darko Radakovic and he helped me really well with my form and he taught me a new form of how to throw it.”
White's work under Radakovic paid off once the 2019 state meet came around. He captured his second straight state title and broke a 50-year old Class B record with a throw of 151 feet and six inches.
“It actually brought me to the edge of tears of joy," White admitted. "I was so happy that I broke the record because I came into that year wanting to break the record and I never would’ve thought that year that I actually would’ve broken the record.”
White was even able to beat that distance with a new PR of just over 152 feet during his first meet as a senior in March. Though his dreams of a three-peat won’t be fulfilled, Bethany College in Kansas came calling and offered him a full ride to not only continue throwing, but also play basketball.
“I never would’ve thought that I would’ve gone to play two sports," added White. "I always thought I was going just for discus with me having the state record. I was only looking for discus in college but then they said that I was playing basketball and I was ecstatic because I never would’ve thought that I would’ve made it to the next level.”