Former Duluth East and Gophers basketball standout Rick Rickert never achieved the NBA success many pegged him for as an amateur.
After two years with the Gophers, he was drafted in the second round by the Timberwolves in the 2003 draft, but he never appeared in a regulation NBA game.
But that's not where Rickert's story ended. He carved out a very nice pro basketball career overseas before recently announcing his retirement. He received a long send-off article in the Japan Times after playing for five different pro franchises in Japan. Per the story:
"I am so thankful for all the seasons and experiences and the past seven years in Japan have been a gift for me and for my family," Rickert said via e-mail. "Calling Kyoto, Osaka, Wakayama, Chiba and Mito home will forever be places we visit. This may be the end of my playing career but certainly not the end of our time in Japan."
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.