NATCHITOCHES – Ryan Bundy left Northwestern State as its all-time men’s basketball leader in assists.
After Bundy’s death in October 2014, his family made sure his legacy would continue with the establishment of the Ryan Bundy Basketball Scholarship.
Their latest gift ensures that grant-in-aid joins the ranks of Northwestern State’s permanently endowed athletic scholarships, reaching the requisite $10,000 in donations with a sizeable contribution from Bundy’s parents, Melody and Keith Bundy.
“In 1994, we sent our son Ryan to play basketball at NSU,” Keith Bundy said. “Being from central Illinois, we had never heard of Natchitoches. We made many 12-13 hour drives to NSU to watch Ryan’s games and met and made friends with some of the friendliest people on Earth. The NSU fans thanked us time and again for sending Ryan to NSU. They loved his style of play and the excitement he brought with him.
“We were at Ryan’s last game in 1998 to experience the tears as he knew his Demon experience was at an end. Ryan knew the importance of getting a scholarship and the funding necessary to make it happen. That’s why at Ryan’s untimely passing in 2014, we asked for donations to set up the Ryan Bundy Basketball Scholarship to help more kids pursue their dreams. When we were given the chance to make a donation to the DUF (Demons Unlimited Foundation) to make Ryan’s scholarship permanently endowed and support the Perpetually Purple program, we couldn’t have found a better way to keep Ryan’s memory alive.”
During his four-year playing career from 1994-98, Bundy amassed 552 assists, averaging 5.4 per game across his 102 career contests. His career assist mark stood until the 2014-15 season when Jalan West surpassed him.
Bundy, who started 92 games in his NSU career, remains second in school history in career assists and sixth in career steals (160). Bundy’s steal total was third in school history when he finished his career – one that embodied the definition of a point guard’s role.
“A point guard’s job is to get the most out of everyone on and off the court,” Keith Bundy said. “There is a better basketball player inside of everyone – just keep working hard to bring out the best in yourself and your teammates.”
A 6-foot, 195-pounder who earned honorable mention All-Southland Conference honors as a junior, Bundy also excelled in the classroom, graduating with honors in computer information systems. He worked in the NSU athletic department as a fundraiser for a time after graduation.
“It is an honor for the NSU athletic program to have Ryan’s name forever listed among the permanently endowed scholarships,” NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke said. “Heartfelt appreciation is extended to his family for this generous contribution. It is also exciting to see the continued growth of the “Perpetually Purple” program which will ensure financial stability and scholarship opportunities in the future.
“Ryan was highly regarded by coaches and teammates, as well as by many other student-athletes, so this announcement is no doubt meaningful to those individuals, too. On a personal note, it was a privilege for me to have known Ryan and his family both during his playing days and as a member of the athletic department staff.”
The Ryan Bundy Basketball Scholarship became the 70th permanently endowed fund for Northwestern State student-athletes.
Earnings from the permanently endowed funds under the Perpetually Purple umbrella that comprise the current $2.3 million endowment total are utilized to balance the Athletic Department’s annual scholarship budget.
A fundamental goal of the initial push is to reach the $5 million milestone, allowing the endowment to completely underwrite book scholarships for all NSU student-athletes, an expense currently paid by annual gifts to the DUF, he said. Annual gift revenues will then be redirected to more significantly enhance facilities, bolster recruiting budgets, retain or hire outstanding coaches, and offset ever-increasing scholarship costs.
The endowment principle remains intact for perpetuity with a maximum of five percent interest income used for the intent designated by the donor who establishes the fund.
For more information on our Perpetually Purple Program, or to establish an endowment, contact Dr. Haley Taitano at 318-357-4278.