Ryan McGready put a historic run together during his senior season at Righetti.

The 6-foot-5 post player powered his team to the CIF Southern Section title game in 2012, the first and only finals appearance in the history of the program.

McGready scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 68-65 road win over Ontario Colony in the CIF-SS Division 2AA semifinals to get the Warriors to that title game. 

In a 70-51 win at Murrieta Valley in the quarterfinals, McGready erupted for 34 points. In a second-round win over Palos Verdes Peninsula, McGready scored 15 points and he started the postseason with 19 points in a win over La Serna.

McGready didn't always have to lead that Warrior team in 2012, but when he took control of a game, there was just about nothing stopping Righetti.

“They just have a bunch of weapons,” Murrieta Valley coach Steve Tarabilda said after McGready's Warriors beat his team. “We've been fortunate because, with a lot of teams that have multiple weapons, we can take one, or two, away. But when we've got to take four or five away, that's really tough.”

McGready is the 13th nominee for the Times' Player of the Decade contest. McGready is the rare candidate to earn a nomination without winning a league or All-Area MVP award. McGready and the Warriors spent much of that season chasing Arroyo Grande and Brent VanderVeen. VanderVeen earned PAC 7 League MVP and All-Area MVP honors that season as the Eagles also made a CIF-SS final and won league championship.

But McGready's impact hasn't been overlooked. Like VanderVeen, McGready did most of his damage in the post, though McGready was the smoother of the two and had a solid outside shot. That 2011-12 Righetti squad was a deep one, with brothers Hunter and Cameron Walker, crafty point guard Marcus McMorris, sharp-shooters Patrick Sims and Ronnie Regalado and physical forward Kevin Stevens. 

At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds though, McGready easily out-muscled most of the competition he faced. He helped the Warriors go 25-6 and make the CIF-SS divisional final, where they lost to Mayfair. The Warriors also made the state tournament that year as McGready led the team in scoring and rebounding. McGready led the Warriors with 12 points in their 60-45 loss to Mayfair in the CIF title game.

During that season, coach Kevin Barbarick said of his group: "Certainly this is the most talented group of young men we’ve ever had here. As far as the best team, that remains to be seen. We’ll make that call at the end of the season.”

The Warriors finished 25-6 after going 10-2 in league, handing eventual league champ Arroyo Grande its only PAC 7 loss. 

McGready joins the other nominees that have been announced so far, including former teammate Cameron Walker. 

There will be 16 nominees announced.

Four St. Joseph nominees have been announced: Gabrys Sadaunykas, JoJo Walker, Keith Datu and Case Bruton. Three Arroyo Grande players have been nominated: VanderVeen, Gage Gomez and Matt Willkomm. Two Cabrillo nominees have been announced in LeAndrew Knight and Chad Brodhead.

The other announced nominees are Atascadero's Robbie Berwick and Mission Prep's Quinton Adlesh.

The Times has polled current and former coaches to develop its list of nominees for Player of the Decade. The rest of the nominees will be announced before a tournament-style voting contest will be held to determine the boys basketball Player of the Decade. Readers will be able to vote online at santamariatimes.com; lompocrecord.com and syvnews.com. Players from Northern Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County whose final seasons where between 2009-10 and 2019-20 are eligible.

Player of the Decade Boys Basketball: Get to know the nominees before voting starts

It's almost time to vote in our boys basketball player of the decade poll, have you taken a moment to read about the nominees? Go through this collection of profiles and get ready for the voting.  We have been working to highlight the decade's best players in several different sports over the last few months, and now we continue with boys basketball. We've really enjoyed the level of participation we've had with the football and girls basketball polls, so share these profiles and the contest with your friends to get the word out and support our local athletes.  

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