Rick Risinger: Building Character & Championship Teams
Rick Risinger, head varsity coach for HCS girls’ basketball, was an Indiana All-Star as a player in 1969 and went on to play for Purdue. His daughter, Megan, attended Heritage and Risinger took over as head coach after the 2005 passing of Dr. Mark Richards (Doc) who started the HCS basketball program.
Retired from a career in business, Risinger has led the HCS girls’ basketball program for thirteen years and has won as many city championships. He’s won seven state championships and was named the Indiana Girls All-Star Coach in 2016. “The main goal of our program is to ʻGlorify God, Play Hard, Have Fun...As a Team.ʼ In the end, I would hope that each and every lady that participated in the program learned life lessons in how to commit to something that is difficult, how to work to accept the challenges that are always presented, and how to excel with work ethic and dedication.”
Risinger can’t point to one championship or title that’s meant more than another because each one has been won by a different team and players. “The satisfaction of each championship comes from the players that had the opportunity to strive and succeed in winning.”
For Risinger, the biggest challenge he faces each year is taking a diverse group of young ladies with a variety of skill levels and strengths and developing those individuals into a team with a common goal. “Not every player can be a star but every player can be part of a star team.”
Risinger points to the relationships he has with his players, the intentional mentoring opportunities that present themselves organically throughout the season, as the reason he continues. “Our focus is playing basketball and representing HCS to the best of [our] God-given abilities,” says Risinger. “We always encourage our ladies to accept personal responsibility and accountability.” Players are encouraged to filter every life issue on and off the court by asking themselves: What would Jesus do?
Photo Courtesy of Circle City Conference SID Trevor Wilson
What does Risinger want known about the girls’ basketball program at HCS? “The girls’ basketball program is an outstanding program based not only on wins and losses on the floor, but also on the character building that is a focus off the court. They are constantly challenged to represent their school, their teammates, their parents, themselves, and most importantly God to the best of their abilities.”