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RC rode post presence to deep playoff run
Ripon Christian High’s Tyler Goslinga is the 2010 Manteca Bulletin All Area Boys Basketball Most Valuable Player. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin
Four years ago, Tyler Goslinga knew that he wanted to become a better basketball player.
Sure Ripon Christian has always been a fixture for having a dominant big-man, but Goslinga wanted to be more. He wanted the titles, the points, the rebounds, the awards and of course a Sac-Joaquin Section championship. After years of putting in the work to substantiate being the best, the fruition was evident during his season-long brilliance for the section runner-up Knights.

Goslinga, The Bulletin’s All-Area Boys Basketball MVP, led Ripon Christian to a 22-8 record and a berth into the California Interscholastic Federation State boys Championships. The towering Ripon Christian post-presence averaged a double-double, scoring 20.4 points per game and pulling down 11 rebounds.

His dominance reigned from a season-opening 23 point effort in a win over Hilmar to the Knights’ final contest, where Goslinga did all he could in Ripon Christian’s season-ending playoff loss to Liberty Christian where he led all scorers with 26.

“Tyler is probably among the best players we’ve had at RC,” Ripon Christian head coach Ron Vander Molen said. “We’ve had some good big men and we’ve been known for having good big-men since the ‘70s, kind of a Dutch growth movement, but his scoring over 20 points a game for two years has to be one of the best RC has ever seen.

“We can attribute a lot of that success to Tyler, obviously.”

The 6-foot-8 scorer did everything required of a center, competing against double-teams throughout the entire season. His game grew immensely over his Ripon Christian career, taking cue from another impressive Ripon Christian center who closed out his career as Goslinga’s began to blossom.

“Adrien den Dulk, who was a senior at the time and a good friend, was always talking about college and he was getting a lot of the awards and stuff that go along with being one of the best,” Goslinga said of his freshman season. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘I hope that can be me someday. My parents always said if you work hard at it you can have it.

“I had the work-ethic and the size, so I thought, I can do this.”

To see Goslinga this season, it would be impossible to imagine him as an unpolished big body. His effort and intensity never waned and his shooting touch mirrored that of a shooting guard. Rebounding was no problem and his phenomenal passing was the perfect complement to his unselfish style. The finished product took time, but for every person associated with Ripon Christian basketball, it was well worth the wait.

“Thinking back to my freshman year I really wasn’t that good of a player,” Goslinga said. “I don’t think I started a game until I was in eighth grade. Coach, my dad and my uncle all worked with me, repetitious shots and improving my agility.

“My biggest asset was size, because I was bigger than everyone and I got rebounds and just put them back in.”

That proved to be the formula for success that pushed Goslinga to the top of his game. Like the majority of the great young players, Goslinga was an obvious leader on the Knights’ squad. The consistency that he brought to Ripon Christian was matched by only a handful of players. Proving himself as one of the best never turned out to be a problem, but convincing him of that fact is nearly impossible.

“I am kind of a humble guy, but to be honest I guess I am pretty good,” Goslinga hesitantly admitted. “Obviously, Kiwi (Gardner) is probably the best in a real wide area. He’s got all the aspects of the game, but we all have respect for one another. Me and (Matt) Ratto and all the other good players at MC, at Sierra, up in Sonora, we are all rivals on the court. But once you get off that court we all have respect for each other’s game.”

Goslinga’s respect was evident by the defensive assignments he faced week-in and week-out. The tough road traveled will likely land Goslinga on a competitive college squad, ushering the Ripon Christian standout into his next phase of challenges; challenges that this year’s incoming freshman will have to learn just as he did.

“Hard work has got to be the No. 1 thing,” Goslinga said. “Your talent can only take you so far. That loose ball you have to dive for, that rebound you have to jump as high as you can over the other guy to get, taking time over the summer and in the offseason, staying in shape; all of that is going to make a difference.

“Everything is going to begin with working hard though.”