Dorsey senior basketball player Ryan Tripp wants to own a construction company (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Dorsey senior Ryan Tripp has been the captain of the Dons boys basketball team for the past two seasons. He initially did not want the role but being captain taught him how to maintain his composure.

“It means a lot, you hold a lot of responsibility,” Tripp said. “You’re who they look at when anything goes wrong with the team … it all goes on the team captain.”

Tripp started playing basketball at five years old, competing at Rancho Cienega Park. He took a hiatus from the sport due to his middle school not having a basketball team.

He returned to basketball when he was a junior at Dorsey and was put on the varsity team. Tripp assumed he would be placed on the JV squad first.

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“It was just something I had to prepare myself for … a lot of hours in the gym over the summer, it wasn’t something I was expecting,” Tripp said. “I’m definitely glad that it happened because it made me progress a lot more, playing more competitive people.”

Along with playing for the Dons, Tripp also played for the AAU team Monarch Elite. He noted how his coach allowed him to “play freely.”

“We really went out there and had fun,” Tripp said. “It’s not as strict as high school … you can talk mess to people, all types of stuff. The refs are real lenient out there so they let stuff get away.”

Tripp noted how being a student athlete is the type of lifestyle he wants to live, he was committed to juggling academics and athletics before being on the basketball team.

“In my ninth grade year, I didn’t play basketball but I was still up here practicing sometimes or playing open runs real late,” he said. “I honestly couldn’t see it any other way.”

Balancing academics and athletics comes second nature to Tripp.

“It’s just God-given, I don’t really think it’s that hard,” he said. “I’m really a smart kid … getting through school isn’t really that hard. I just do the work. As long as I do the work I know that I’ll be able to play basketball.”

Tripp’s favorite class is his writing seminar. His teacher is a key factor as to why he likes the class.

“She’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had,” he said. “She’ll give us a basic outline to an assignment and have us do it the way we want to do it.”

In the future, Tripp wants to study construction management so he can own his own construction company.

“I want to be those people that buy a lot and build a big apartment building,” he said. “I want to be somebody that owns something.”