Carl Ridd was born in Winnipeg. He began playing basketball in Westminster United Church and then for Gordon Bell High School. Ridd went on to play for the University of Manitoba (1947 - 1951) where he was the leading scorer in North America College Basketball, averaging 25 points a game. Ridd was a starting member of the Canadian basketball team for the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki Finland. Ridd played in all six matches for the team, which was eliminated after the group stage in the 1952 tournament. Two years later Ridd played in the World Basketball Championships in Rio de Janeiro Brazil where he was the first and only Canadian to be chosen for the tournament's all-star team (2nd team All-Star). Ridd was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980, and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1983.