Former St. Raymond hoops star Santos picks South Florida

Former St. Raymond center Luis Santos verbally committed last week to play basketball at the University of South Florida.
File photo by Steven Schnibbe

Luis Santos didn’t want to mess with a good thing.

The former St. Raymond center built a strong relationship with University of South Florida assistant coach and former Ravens headman Oliver Antigua during his time with the Dominican Republic national mens’ basketball program and wanted that same comfort level in college. The 6-foot-8, 245-pound Santos, who will play his senior season at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas next year, chose to join Antigua with the Bulls, where his brother Orlando Antigua is the head coach, by verbally committing there last week. He chose South Florida over Rutgers and Seton Hall.

“I’ve know coach Antigua for a long time,” Santos said. “He coached me on a the Dominican team. I figured he’d come through.”

Santos, a Dominican Republic native was a big part of the Ravens success the last two years and established himself as one of the city’s best and most dominant big men. Santos led St. Raymond to the CHSAA Archdiocesan title two years ago. The two-time All-Bronx first team selection by the Bronx Times averaged 12.9 points per game after slimming down last season. Ravens coach Jorge Lopez believed we will see even more of the aspects for Santos’s game in college.

He was able to rely heavily on his superior strength and size in a CHSAA Class AA league that feature a small number of legitimate big men. Santos could power his way to points and rebounds. At the collegiate level he will need to be smarter, craftier and utilize his skill set even more so than in high school. It is something Lopez believes he is fully capable of doing against bigger and stronger players to help USF win.

“I think he will be able to adjust to the college game,” Lopez said. “I think Luis is a skilled player and I think you are going to start seeing that more and more on the college level, more than you did in high school. “

Santos heads to a Bulls program that is looking for rebuild under Antigua in the American Athletic Conference. He is thankful to have to the decision over with and being able to focus on working at Sunrise Christian to be better prepared to help USF when he gets there.

“I’m so proud and so happy, Santos said. “I’ve known coach Antigua for a long time. It’s great to represent my country out there. It can’t get better than that.

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