“You Got That Waltham in You”

by Chris Wangler

January 29, 2023

That’s how a Newton high school basketball coach described Ryan Power, a former Waltham High School superstar.

Today, this Hawk is still soaring, albeit in a new way, as his Brandeis Judges seek a D3 national tournament berth. 


And while a lot has changed, Ryan still has the best hometown cheering section in town.

Waltham Hoop

In 2019-20, Ryan Power led the Waltham High School varsity basketball team on a wicked run.

Averaging 24 points a game, Ryan racked up 51 points in a single game and helped the Hawks go 20-5.


He set several records en route to becoming the Hawks’ all-time leading scorer. 

“We went undefeated in our conference, which was really important for us,” Ryan said.

Powered up for the state tourney, Waltham High got to the semis before they lost to the team that ultimately won the whole thing.

Recently the team was recognized during a ceremony that got delayed by COVID—a reunion of friends who go way back.


“Those guys I’ve been playing with since the third grade,” Ryan said.

They were led by current WHS head coach Mike Wilder, Ryan’s Cedarwood neighbor, youth coach and longtime motivator.


From a sports family, Coach Wilder helped grow the game in Waltham with ambitious programs. 

Ryan was an outstanding product. Today, the Waltham-bred standout remains close to his biggest sports mentor.

“Anytime I call him, I know he’ll pick up,” Ryan said. “I wasn’t feeling confident with my shot the other day and he gave me a lot of good advice.”

Looking back, Ryan believes his golden generation helped open the door for more Hawks hoop success in recent years under Coach Wilder.

“It set an example for younger kids to look up to,” Ryan said. “To see guys born and raised in Waltham finding success was really important.”

New Heights

You might imagine a Hawks superstar wanting to extend his wings and fly away.

But unlike many of his classmates, Ryan stayed local, attending Brandeis right down the street from the Power household.


“I knew I wanted to go to a small school,” Ryan said. “You know your professors, you know the other students and recognize the faces you see.”

Now a junior, he is a shooting guard and small forward for the Brandeis Judges in NCAA Division 3.


The team got off to a red-hot 7–1 start in the fall. “Everyone really likes to play with each other, everybody really works hard,” Ryan said.

They notched a big win recently versus NYU, and are still in contention to earn a trip to the D3 national tournament. 


Ryan has worked hard to earn a starting role through grit and determination.

His 18 points versus Emmanuel was a personal best back in November, but he’s no longer the leading scorer or star. And that suits him just fine.

“He’s always been a low-key kid,” said dad Dave. “He doesn’t want all the attention. He’s able to play his type of basketball and not need to do all the scoring.”

“Focusing on defense, passing, cutting off the ball, rebounds, anything to help the team win,” said Ryan, who feels a responsibility to live up to Waltham’s blue-collar reputation.

After a tough loss versus Babson before Christmas, he didn’t hit the showers. 

Instead, he took some postgame shooting practice with his brother Brendan, who goes to Bentley.

His work ethic has earned him respect from Judges head coach Jean Bain, who called Ryan “the heart and soul of our team.”

“We look at him offensively and defensively to set the tone,” he added.

Sharing a mutual acquaintance, coach Bain has followed Ryan since his sophomore year at Waltham High, and Ryan recently attended his wedding.

Waltham Cheer

Part of Ryan’s success as a player and a person is his supportive family.

His parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle bring the noise at every Judges home game, while his brothers either show up or watch the livestream.

“I think it’s unique that I can see so many of his college games,” said dad Dave. “I can walk to all his home games.”

He and his wife Christine nurtured Ryan's athletic gifts while keeping him on track academically.

“My mom is the biggest superfan of any team I’m on,” Ryan said with a chuckle.

He lives on campus as he pursues a career in physical therapy, but he still does family dinners weekly.

His parents, having set a positive example for Ryan and his brothers Brendan and Tyler, beam with pride.

They plan to travel if the Judges qualify for the national D3 tournament, but it’s much bigger than basketball.

“He’s fit in with a great group of guys,” said Dave Power. “I’m really happy for him that he’s happy.”