SS Visual Works gives back to his community

Ryan Slider, also known as SS Visual Works, comes back to his high school to support their sports program- except this time he's shooting film, not baskets.

Slider+dunking+a+basketball+during+his+time+at+Tigard.+He+graduated+in+1997%2C+and+continued+to+play+basketball+around+the+world+for+years+to+come.

Photo courtesy of Tigard's 1997 yearbook.

Slider dunking a basketball during his time at Tigard. He graduated in 1997, and continued to play basketball around the world for years to come.

By Caroline Frisiras, Tigard High School

Many Tigard alumni go on to do great things after high school, but few return to leave an impact on the community they grew up in.

Ryan Slider, popularly known by his social media tag @ssvisualworks, graduated from Tigard in 1997 and is still positively involved with Tigard’s athletic scene.

Slider has years of experience with athletics himself. After graduating from Tigard, Slider went on to play D1 basketball for the University of Montana for four years. He continued his basketball career after college by playing internationally in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Yugoslavia. By the end of his career, he decided to come back to Oregon and give back to his community.

Using his unique videography skills, Slider creates recaps of popular Portland Metro games and shares them via Instagram for his 16,000 followers to enjoy.

“I’ve loved writing and film since I was a kid,” Slider explained, adding that he was inspired from a young age by his mom’s artistic skill.

Many students and athletes appreciate his high-energy highlight clips of sporting events all around the OSAA scene. While Slider’s area of expertise is basketball videos, he has branched out to film for football, soccer, volleyball, and water polo this past fall.

Tigard senior Trevor Smith, captain of the varsity boys soccer team, expressed his appreciation for Slider and what it meant to have him supporting Tigard’s student athletes.

“He supports us in a positive way and we support him in a positive way as well,” Smith said. “To me, it’s very humbling and honoring that he does these sorts of things for our school.”

Senior and varsity girls basketball player Kennedy Brown agrees on the importance of Slider’s work and support for the Tigard community.

“It’s nice having someone who appreciates not just sports, but how hard student athletes work,” Brown says. “It’s someone outside of your community supporting you on a bigger platform to other people who can appreciate the same things.”

Junior Samantha Vaughan says that Slider’s videos give Tigard’s student body something to look forward to after to sporting events, adding that through his edits and connections with students, he has cultivated more energetic support for Tigard’s athletics. Vaughan has had personal experience with Slider’s efforts to reach out to Portland Metro Area students.

“He makes the students and community a priority by responding to [messages], supporting all of the Portland Metro Area high schools, and building relationships with everyone he meets,” Vaughan said.

For Slider, the value of his work soars far beyond what happens on the court or the field. His videos highlighting young athletes help to increase their self-esteem both in and out of an athletic realm.

“Seeing young athletes who may not have a lot of confidence and hearing from those kids or those families… that’s what really drives me,” Slider said.

“Being able to see these cool videos and see me and my teammates on them has helped boost my confidence,” senior football player Max Lenzy explains. Although Tigard’s football season came to an unfortunate close, Slider’s videos of the Tigers’ season helped to create an enthusiasm in Tigard’s student body centered around encouraging and supporting student athletes in the community.

“I think he really helped to get our team out there and really was able to capture what Tigard football was about,” Lenzy said.

With winter sports now in full swing, Slider looks forward to being able to create more hype and recognition for the grassroots of the athletic scene.

This story was originally published on on December 12, 2019.