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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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SDSU golfer April Ranches. (SDSU) SDSU golfer April Ranches. (SDSU)

SDSU Scholar-Athlete Performing the National Anthem at Final Four

Golfer April Ranches represents the Aztecs for a joint performance before the 2023 Final Four semifinal game.
By Suzanne Finch

Prior to the tipoff of the Aztecs’ debut in the Men’s Final Four on Saturday, fans will witness the debut performance of another San Diego State University student-athlete, but in a very unexpected way. 


Aztecs golfer April Ranches will perform the national anthem ahead of SDSU’s semifinal game against Florida Atlantic University. She and three other student-athletes, each representing one of the competing schools, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which has become a Final Four tradition. 


Ranches is in her final year as a BMACC student at the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy within the Fowler College of Business. 


After the NCAA notified the schools who made it to the Sweet Sixteen to submit video auditions for the Final Four anthem, Ranches quickly prepared a video not knowing if she’d actually get an opportunity to perform live. She was then notified by the NCAA on March 21 that she was selected as the SDSU student-athlete to sing the anthem should the Aztecs reach the Final Four. 


The Aztecs’ victory against Creighton in the Elite Eight sealed the deal. 


“It’s an amazing opportunity and a very special honor to have been selected,” said Ranches, a two-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete who also serves as the vice president/vice chair of SDSU’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). “As a native San Diegan, I’m so honored to be able to do this for SDSU and my hometown.” 


Though it will be the first time Ranches has ever performed publicly, she is not nervous about debuting before more than 71,000 spectators, to say nothing of the television audience numbering in the millions. 


“I’ve done some public speaking and that’s given me the confidence I need. I just spoke to a group of SDSU donors, alumni and basketball fans at a pre-game reception in February,” said Ranches. “Plus, I come from a huge family of singers. My mom is the best singer I know and I’m so glad I inherited that gene.”


Ranches will be the first member of her family to complete her college education when she is awarded her bachelor’s and her master’s degrees this May. After graduation, she plans to sit for the state’s CPA exams, but working as an accountant will have to wait. 


“Once I pass my CPA exams, I plan to take my play to the next level and become a professional golfer,” said Ranches, who started golfing competitively at age 8. “After I finish my golfing career, I’d eventually like to go into government accounting.”  


Though Ranches is excited about singing for the first time on a national stage, she is also proud and excited about her fellow SDSU student-athletes who got her there. 


“This Final Four team is a very special group of guys and I’ve known several of them since I was a freshman,” she said. “They’ve done an amazing job representing the SDSU community both on and off the court.”