Veteran Ryan Ranalli took part in the initial invasion for Operation Iraqi Freedom

Iraq War veteran Ryan Ranalli of Helena served in combat with the Army Airborne Infantry in the initial invasion for Operation Iragi Freedom in 2003-04.

Ranalli graduated from Capital High in 1998, where he played basketball all four years, culminating in a berth on the Bruins’ varsity squad his senior year.

Ryan Ranalli sits with an Iraqi girl at Mosul Hospital.

Courtesy photo

Among his highlights was a 16-point outburst in a competitive 57-49 crosstown loss to Helena High.

“Capital’s Ryan Ranalli came off the bench in the final minute of the first period and put on a scoring show,” according to the February 6, 1998, Independent Record. “The hot-handed Bruin sank a 3-pointer in the last 30-seconds of the quarter, then scored 10 of Capital’s 13 second quarter points and kept the Bruins within three at the end of the first half.”

CHS coach Bill Mulcahy noted Ranalli’s “great game,” stating that the senior reserve “did a nice job” in his role off the bench.

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