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Woodbury's Ambriz set to run with the Golden Bears

Woodbury High School Royals head boys basketball coach Scott Swansson looks on as senior Matt Ambriz signs his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, April 16, during a brief ceremony at the school. Ambriz committed to play basketball next year at Concordia University. (Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker)

Matt Ambriz hopes to shine in the Northern Sun.

The Woodbury High School senior announced he will be playing collegiate basketball on scholarship at Concordia University, a member of the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

“It’s exciting,” Ambriz, a 6-foot 2-inch 180-pound shooting guard with Royals said after a brief ceremony at WHS. “It makes me want to work harder.”

Ambriz led the Royals in scoring during his standout senior year – a season in which he finished fourth in scoring among Class AAAA players and secured his place in WHS history as the school’s all-time free-throw shooter. His 89 percent free throw percentage decimated the school’s standing record – 78 percent.

He earned three varsity letters playing for the Royals, two of which came as a starter. His resume includes more than 1,000 career points and a two-time selection for the All-Suburban East Conference team.

“I just had a lot of fun and I’m going miss it a lot,” Ambriz said of his high school career.

At Concordia, Ambriz will be expected to play point guard, coach Joey James said.

“We feel that he’ll emerge as a very good point guard in the Northern Sun,” he said. “He can handle it very well; he can shoot it and is really more of an all-around basketball player.”

Northern Sun teams include Winona State, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State University-Mankato and Augustana College (Iowa).

Woodbury coach Scott Swansson called Ambriz one of the best pure shooters he’s ever seen come through the Royals program.

“I think they’re getting a good player,” Swansson said at Wednesday’s ceremony. “He hits the bottom of the net all the time. I think good things are going to happen to him.”

Ambriz said Woodbury assistant coach Kent Getzlaff, a Concordia alum, pointed him in the direction of the Golden Bears. The team and the St. Paul-based campus endeared itself to Ambriz immediately, he said.

“I felt like I was at home right away,” he said.

-Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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