Ryan Appleby might be too young to remember him, but being a student of the game of basketball, he is well aware of the exploits of NBA Hall of Famer "Pistol" Pete Maravich.
Maravich was well known for his flair on the basketball court, and that's where he and Appleby and the Pistol Pete compare favorably: they're Caucasians who play the game with soul.
Appleby, a slick 6-2, 160 pound point guard from Stanwood H.S. in Stanwood, Wash., has excellent court awareness, a good feel for the game and a flair for the dramatic.
In one game last July at the Best of the Summer Tournament in Los Angeles, Appleby made a no-look dish to teammate Kevin Field to lead the Emerald City Pioneers to a last second victory over the Arizona Heat.
He was terrific at the Nike Memorial Day Classic, as he led the relatively unheralded Pioneers into the final four of that prestigious spring tournament.
Appleby told the Insiders Report/Rivalshoops.com that his early list of schools is based primarily on mail that he has received.
The schools on his preliminary list include Indiana, Iowa, Florida State, Missouri, Georgetown, Miami, UCLA, Oregon State, Gonzaga and Washington.
Thus far, Appleby has taken one unofficial visit to Washington, and also got a chance to look at Indiana when Emerald City played at the MDC back in late May. In fact, he played one game in the Hoosiers' arena.
He played at the Gonzaga team basketball camp this past summer, so he also has some familiarity with the Spokane based WCC school.
This season at Stanwood, Appleby averages 20 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and three steals per game. He said he has a 3.2 GPA, but won't take the SAT until the spring. He did sit for the PSAT last month (Dec. 2001).
Appleby plans on attending the Nike All-American Camp in July, and will again tour the spring and summer basketball circuits with Emerald City.
He said he does not plan on making a college decision until after the summer, because he plans on taking official visits in the fall of 2002.
Appleby said that he picked up many of his ball handling and shooting habits from watching an old Pistol Pete instructional video that was rented by his dad.
He said that in addition to patterning his game after a great old-timer like Maravich, he also takes some cues from Memphis Grizzlies point guard Jason Williams.
And like both Maravich and Williams, Appleby will do his entertaining on a basketball court. It's the fans, scouts and coaches who are in for a treat when steps between the white lines.