Posted: Monday, 24 June 2013 9:49AM

1 Awards: Ruder rewrites Nixa record books, ready for MSU

Springfield, Mo. (  -- Video Platform Video Management Video Solutions Video Player

Austin Ruder was born to shoot the basketball.

You don’t have to watch him play for more than two minutes to know that.

But it didn’t always come easy for the former Nixa star.

“I started playing in first grade,” said Ruder. “Mom played basketball and dad tried, so I figured I might as well give it a shot.  My first game I didn’t know where to line up on the tip so I was just kind of walking around lost.”


He wouldn’t be lost for long.

Ruder would meet former Missouri State standout Rodney Perry, helping to take his game to another level.

“I met Rodney Perry in fifth grade and he saw something in me that no one else did and he pushed me pretty hard,” said Ruder. “I’ve played with him ever since then and a lot of my skills are a product of working with him.”

Around that time Ruder would also begin transitioning from being a post player to playing on the perimeter. He would also begin perfecting the stroke that led to him rewriting the Nixa record book.

“I was always the biggest kid on my team, so I didn’t start shooting outside until about sixth grade. I think because I started so late it allowed me to develop a pretty good looking jump shot.”

Just how efficient is Ruder’s jumper?



Ruder averaged 19.6 PPG as senior, to go along with his four rebounds and four assists per night, all while shooting 47% from the field.

The six-foot-three guard also hit a single-season record 86 triples as a senior, breaking the previous school record of 82, which he set in his junior campaign.

In his career at Nixa, Ruder, who scored a school-record 1,722 points, buried 273 treys, also a school record, hitting at least 50 in all four seasons.

Over the last four years Ruder helped lead the Eagles to a run never experience before in school history.

Nixa’s 100-16 record, three COC and Blue and Gold Championships and a Final Four appearance are enough to leave Ruder satisfied with what he was able to accomplish as an Eagle.

But, the opportunity to do much of it playing alongside little (big) brother Jacob made it that much more special.

“It is much easier to play with him rather than against him,” said Ruder. “We are really competitive. When we were little our parents would have to pull us apart playing games on the mini-goals. There is nothing like being able to play with your brother, it is an experience that I will never forget.”

Next year Ruder will follow in his mentor’s steps and don the Maroon and White of the hometown Bears.

The opportunity to stay close to home and play in front of his parents was something Ruder didn’t want to pass up.

“It was very important knowing I could be close to home have their support. They can come to every home game if they want. It’s nice knowing that I can drive home and not have to get in a plane.”

Although Missouri State is coming off of its worst season in school history, 10-22, Ruder, along with incoming freshmen Devon Thomas and Tyler McCullough, have given Bears fans a reason to be optimistic about the direction of Missouri State Basketball.

Watch Ruder shoot, and you’ll understand why.

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Glendale 1, Nixa 0

Glendale's keeper Kinda Lierz scored the only goal to lift the Lady Falcons over Nixa.

Pictures: Mount Vernon 21, Aurora 2

Mount Vernon improves to 4-0 in conference play

Pictures: Neosho vs. Ozark

The Wildcats and Tigers met in Ozark on Thursday
O-Zone Opinion
10 improved and surprise spring sports teams
In honor of giving spring its fair due, we take time out like we did in basketball season to highlight the spring's most improved/surprise/overachieving/under-the-radar/whatever-you-wanna-call-it teams. As a general rule, this list won't include...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Breaking down the new boys basketball districts
It's that time again… Every two years MSHSAA reshuffles classes and districts, unintentionally and yet effectively changing the landscape of the sport and this spring was no different. Here are the changes you will want to note for the boys...
Read More
Making sense of the new girls basketball districts
Who do you have going all the way in your bracket? Your 2014-15 high school district basketball bracket, that is. Last weekend, MSHSAA released classification and district assignments for the next two school years. We saw notable changes in most...
Read More
Most Viewed