A versatile guard who played three seasons at Washington State is joining the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team.
“The biggest thing is the culture Hawaii brings,” said Ryan Rapp, who grew up in Melbourne, Australia. “I’m excited to be around that kind of culture and to immerse myself into it. I have really good relations with the (Hawaii) coaches. The coaches believe in me and what I can do. I just want to be able to go out there and give it my all when it comes to basketball.”
Rapp is 6 feet 5, 200 pounds, and capable of playing the point, off guard and the wing. He played in 54 games in three years with Washington State. In one of his four starts in 2020-21, Rapp pulled down eight rebounds in the Cougars’ upset of UCLA.
UH head coach Eran Ganot and WSU’s Kyle Smith were assistants under Randy Bennett at Saint Mary’s. There are some schematic similarities between the Rainbow Warriors and Cougars.
“I can play in any type (of offense), really,” Rapp said. “It won’t be that big of a transition for me.”
Rapp was born in Glendova, Calif., but moved soon after to Australia, where his mother was reared and his father played basketball professionally. Tim Rapp played at UC San Diego, where he was a Division III All-American and eventual inductee into UCSD’s Hall of Fame.
The elder Rapp also was head coach at Cal Poly Pomona. Ryan Rapp’s aunt, Jessica Foley, played for Duke, where she won a national championship. His sister Hannah Rapp is a guard for Saint Mary’s.
Growing up, Rapp was a point guard who was skilled on drives and outside shooting. During a stretch from his sophomore to junior year, he grew 7 inches.
“I kept all the ball skills I had growing up, but became a tall point guard,” Rapp said.
As a high school senior at Mazenod College, Rapp took a recruiting visit to UH in November 2018. He narrowed his choices to UH and San Francisco before choosing the Dons. But he never made it to the USF campus. When Smith moved from USF to WSU, Rapp followed.
While enjoying his time in Pullman, Wash., Rapp decided, “It was time. … I graduate this year. It’s a new chapter for me. I want to take on a bigger role, and see what I can do down in Hawaii.”
Rapp will earn a bachelor’s degree in finance next month. He plans to pursue a master’s in finance at UH. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.