Fruita Monument’s Riley Snyder commits to Air Force
After courting several NCAA Division I universities, Fruita Monument High School girls basketball standout Riley Snyder found her fit.
The senior on Monday verbally committed to playing at the Air Force Academy next year, joining a Falcons squad headed by second-year coach Chris Gobrecht.
Snyder announced her decision on Twitter. She also had offers from Wyoming, Vermont, Dartmouth, Idaho State, Weber State and Cornell.
“I would like to thank God, my family, all of my coaches, and friends for supporting me through this journey,” Snyder wrote. “I am beyond blessed and excited to announce that I will not only be continuing my education and basketball career at the D1 level, but also serving in the United States Air Force Academy. Can’t wait for the next four years! #GoFalcons”
When Gobrecht was coaching at Yale, assistants from the program visited with Snyder. The Bulldogs went in a different direction, but Snyder got to meet Gobrecht when she was hired by the Falcons. The guard said the coach was one factor in her decision.
“Coach G is definitely a big part of my choice,” Snyder said. “Playing under her, learning from all her wisdom that she has to offer us players, all of that is exciting to me. She’s had a lot of success rebuilding other programs and she also has a son who went to the (Air Force) Academy and graduated, so she knows a lot about what goes on there and what the girls in the program need.”
Gobrecht has 37 years of coaching experience and is the winningest coach in program history at both Yale and Washington. Historically, Air Force has struggled, never qualifying for the NCAA Tournament since joining the DI ranks in 1996. Last season, the Falcons finished 4-25, but Gobrecht entered a similar situation at Yale. The Bulldogs were 3-24 in her first season before turning the program into a regular Ivy League championship contender. In 11 years at Washington, she amassed a 243-89 record.
Outside of the coaching, Snyder was juggling interest from multiple Ivy League schools, so the academics at Air Force were also a priority.
“I was looking for a college with high academic standards and Air Force is known for having that,” Snyder said. “I have the great privilege of serving my country and others, and that was something I was looking for.”
Snyder burst onto the recruiting scene with a stellar freshman season in 2014-15, when she averaged a team-high 13.7 points per game and led the Wildcats to a 15-11 overall record.
Her sophomore year marked the start of Fruita’s current run of success — the first of two seasons with 20-plus wins and back-to-back Southwestern League championships. She averaged 17.4 points per game as a sophomore and saw gains in nearly every other stat category.
She averaged 16.9 points per game during her junior season as the Wildcats advanced to the third round of the Class 5A state playoffs, falling to eventual semifinalist Cherry Creek. Fruita finished 22-3, and Snyder eclipsed 1,000 career points in January.