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OK School the Deaf basketball athletes win national awards

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

SULPHUR, Okla.  — For the second time in the 2022-23 school year, the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association has named All-Americans from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf.

Those earning NDIAA’s winter sports honors are:

RyJan Reininger – 1st Team All-American

Riley Newell - All-American Honorable Mention

Shakayla Simmons – 2nd Team All-American

Jase Sledd - All-American Honorable Mention

Shyann Smith - All-American Honorable Mention

“I would like to honor three players, RyJan Reininger, Riley Newell, and Jase Sledd, who are already on the list of NDIAA All-Americans,” Coach Jason Sledd said. “I look forward to next year, which will be a good season for our basketball team.”

Junior point guard RyJan Reininger is one of five All American players selected from all the schools for deaf in division 2.

NDIAA’s divisions are based on school enrollment. OSD is in division 2 with schools for the deaf that have fewer than 75 high school students.

Reininger is a team leader in points, rebounds and steals. His average points per game was 23.8 with 10.6 average rebounds and 3.8 steals.

Riley Newell plays sophomore center. He averaged 8.6 points per game with 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 9.9 blocks.

As a newcomer on the team, Jase Sledd, a senior shooting guard, played well and improved his teamwork with 4.1 average points per game, 6.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.5 blocks.

“I'm very proud of them for representing our school and showing they can do anything,” Coach Sledd said. “OSD is very lucky to have them and all the basketball players on my team. They are very respected for their motivation, teamwork and sportsmanship.”  

“Shakayla Simmons worked hard and grew a lot this season as a player and leader,” Coach Kym Vance said. “She averaged almost 10 points and just over 10 rebounds a game. I'm excited to see what she does next year as a senior.”

“Senior Shyann Smith is the player no one wants to defend them,” Vance said. “She is full of energy and fire and goes for the ball every time she gets the opportunity. This year she also became a threat offensively, which helped her become a well-rounded player. Shyann will be greatly missed next year.” 

Oklahoma School for the Deaf offers a leading educational environment for residential and commuter students with highly qualified staff in their academic specialties and deaf education. Students attend classes free of charge four days each week and are transported home for three-day weekends, summers and holidays. OSD offers summer school classes and free outreach services for deaf and hard of hearing students who attend other public schools, their families and educators. OSD is a division of Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.


The National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association awarded winter sports honors to five All-Americans from Oklahoma School for the Deaf (clockwise from upper left): RyJan Reininger, Riley Newell, Shyann Smith, Shakayla Simmons and Jase Sledd.

For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318 

Last Modified on May 02, 2023