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Fryer signs with NAIA Division II finalist SOU

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Fryer signs with NAIA Division II finalist SOU

Manteca High senior Syd’Nee Fryer, surrounded by her family and teammates, signed with Southern Oregon at Winter Gym on Thursday.


POSTED February 17, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Syd’Nee Fryer made visits to a handful of NCAA Division I schools, but she found a home in Southern Oregon.

The Manteca High senior signed with the NAIA Division II powerhouse Thursday at Winter Gym, where she was joined by teammates, coaches, friends and family. Fryer said she previously visited San Jose State, Nevada and Santa Barbara, to name a few, and several others have been in contact with her.

Last month, Southern Oregon assistant coach Meghan de los Reyes set up an official visit, and it didn’t take long for Fryer to verbally commit.

“They said they’ve been to a lot of my games and I never saw them,” Fryer said. “They reached out to my dad, so I Googled them because I didn’t know too much about them. When I went on my visit I just fell in love as soon as I got there. I said, ‘This is where I’m going, I already know.’ I didn’t feel as at home at other places as I did with Oregon. I felt welcomed.”

The versatile 5-foot-9 guard has been welcomed to a team with a championship résumé. Last year, his first at Southern Oregon, head coach Alex Carlson guided the team to its most successful season ever. The Raiders won the Cascade Conference championship and were ranked No. 3 in the country when they fell to No. 9 Marian in the program’s first-ever appearance in the NAIA Division II National Tournament title game.

“Southern Oregon is getting a girl who loves the game of basketball,” Manteca coach Ryan Bono said. “She’s proved it coming back from an injury and playing through another one. She put off surgery to get a chance to play with her team. She’s mentally tough, and Southern Oregon is lucky to have her.”

Fryer has had some terrible luck with injuries to her left knee over her four-year varsity career. She tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in her left knee during a promising freshman year at Brookside Christian of Stockton. Brookside captured the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title and reached the CIF State Northern California Regional finals.

Fryer transferred to Manteca but did not play her sophomore season. She played in 23 games last year, averaging 12.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.2 steals.

Her status for her senior campaign was unclear at the start after she tore all the cartilage and the meniscus in the same left knee late in Manteca’s Foundation Game at Ripon. Fryer missed the Buffaloes’ first six official games of the season but has played in 20 straight since.

“I was super nervous that I would not be able to perform the way I know I could, but coach Bono instilled me with so much confidence and reminded me that I’ll be OK if I work hard,” Fryer said.

Fryer, along with Louisville-bound McDonald’s All-American Loretta Kakala, helped lead Manteca (16-10) to the Valley Oak League championship this season. She’s averaging 9.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists. The Buffaloes host Los Banos in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs next Tuesday.

“Honestly, I don’t feel anything yet,” Fryer said of her signing. “Everyone’s like, ‘You’re going to feel different!’ I think I’ll feel it more when the basketball season is over. I love my team so much and I’m so proud we were able to win league.”

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