Conor Riordan, a junior and standout student-athlete, has been selected to represent Simpson on the USA D-3 Basketball Select National Team this summer in Brazil. He is the first athlete in school history to be a part of this team.
“It’s a true honor to be invited,” Riordan said. “I am very excited to not only represent Simpson College but our country. It’s cool to see all of the doors that basketball has opened up in my life and I am extremely thankful for what the game has provided.”
Riordan will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 8, 2019 to compete in two games, then fly to Rio de Janeiro for two additional contests. Not only will the team members receive the opportunity of a lifetime on the basketball court, they will also gain educational, social and cultural outreach opportunities within the communities they visit.
“I hope to gain a new cultural perspective and build new relationships with elite players from around the country,” he stated.
The Ankeny, Iowa native is one of only 10 players from across the country chosen for the elite team. He will have the chance to visit former Olympic athletes and coaches, national players and coaches and many other professionals in the sport from Brazil.
"Conor will do a great job representing Simpson College and our basketball program while representing the USA in Brazil,” said Storm head men’s basketball coach Brad Bjorkgren. "Conor does well on the court but also excels in the classroom. He is a true student-athlete and I am glad we have him for one more year.”
Riordan’s status as an elite student-athlete is best illustrated by his recent selection to the prestigious Google Cloud Academic All-America Team, a top honor recognizing both athletic achievement and scholarship. The first Storm men’s basketball player to receive the distinction since 2010, Riordan boasts a 3.96 grade-point average in the classroom while majoring in mathematics.
As a point guard on the basketball court, Riordan controls the offense and gets his teammates involved. According to his academic advisor, Riordan assumes a similar leadership role in the classroom.
"Conor is an outstanding student,” professor of mathematics Heidi Berger said. “He routinely asks good questions and shares his solution approaches with his classmates. He's also tutored a number of current Simpson students and high school students on material. In this capacity, he is respectful and patient."
In addition to his academic accolades, Riordan earned American Rivers All-Conference First Team honors for the second straight year in 2018-19. He averaged a team-best 18.2 points per game—good for third in the league—and will enter his senior season just 11 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
Simpson is a place where students have amazing opportunities to reach their goals, in and out of the classroom. Your professors and coaches know you and work together to help you balance academics and athletics so you can experience the best of everything Simpson has to offer.
Riordan aims to use his experience to propel the Storm even further next season. “I hope it’s a chance for me to improve my game by playing with great players and under great coaches,” he said. “I hope I can continue to develop as a leader so I can really apply that to my senior year with our team.”