Ritter Roundball and the Jason Ritter Scholarship
By Grace Miller
On March 17, 2011, one of Legend’s very own- Jason Ritter- lost his battle with cancer after months of fighting tirelessly for his life. On that day, an entire community was struck with a grief greater than they had ever felt before. Jason Ritter was a part of the core team that was in charge of opening Legend High School in 2008, and the other staff members involved with the core team were among those most affected by his passing. Ritter was a social studies teacher loved by his students and a basketball coach loved by his players. Since his death, he has been remembered for his strength and perseverance as well as his spirit, passion, and the way he embodied Legend’s core values. Legend teachers who worked with Ritter and even teachers who never met him admire his dedication to LHS, even in his darkest hour. “He was the first person I met when I joined the staff,” and “he made everyone feel like they were important, he was a good friend, he loved Legend, and he was a great teacher,” current LHS social studies teacher, Jen Harvey, said of her former coworker.
Members of the Legend High School community, pride themselves in their ability to connect with and support one another in both good times and bad, and they even call themselves a family. When a family member is lost, Legend comes together and creates something beautiful out of the negative energy left behind, which is exactly what they did when they lost Jason Ritter.
Not long after Ritter’s passing, the “Ritter Roundball” three on three basketball tournament was created. When it first began, the tournament had only five competing
teams, but this year on Aug. 22, there were 31 teams who came out to remember Ritter. This tournament serves as a way not only to remember Ritter, but a way to raise money in order to fund the Jason Ritter scholarship. The Jason Ritter scholarship is awarded each year to Legend’s graduating seniors who proudly possess the most Legend spirit. Last year, the scholarship was awarded to the graduating seniors Julia Getchell and Spencer Jornod, who, according to Legend faculty and their peers, were Titans–tried and true.
The final score of the championship game, ending the tournament on Aug. 22 was 16-15 and the SimDawgs, a team of adults headed by Legend’s assistant principal, Dan Simington, won it all. The SimDawgs were congratulated for their victory over the TuneSquad, a team composed of LHS students. The game wasn’t entirely fair, but
good sportsmanship and Legend spirit prevailed. Regardless of the competition, however, Ritter Roundball drew in quite the crowd– including Derrick White, Legend High School graduate and current San Antonio Spurs player– and raised money to support Legend Titans in their journeys after Legend.
Jason Ritter’s family continues to support Legend and comes out to support the Ritter Roundball players every year. “[Mr. Ritter] would be so happy to see everyone here together, the Legend family goes way back and it’s so awesome to see [their bond],” Audra and Lincoln Ritter, Jason Ritter’s wife and son, said at the 2017 Ritter Roundball tournament. Jason Ritter’s legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of the titans–past, present, and future.