The optimism and excitement around the St. Raymond boys’ basketball is certainly at a high, but it is the Ravens themselves who are making sure they don’t buy too much into the hype just yet.
“We may be young, but we are just as talented as the other teams,” senior wing Rich Ross said. “We just have to come out and prove it everyday.”
The Ravens’ roster features just two seniors, who are the role models for a group that is expected to bring success both this year and beyond. Sophomore Sidney Wilson, a 6-foot-5, super athletic, forward, leads the squad’s up and coming stars. He has plenty of Division I interest and already has scholarship offers from Minnesota, St. John’s, Providence and South Florida. Wilson is can control a game with his scoring and use his length to impact play on the defensive end.
St. Raymond coach Jorge Lopez believes sophomore point guard Isaiah Washington, who has offers from Minnesota and Providence, has the skills to be the best player at his position in the city. Wilson, a JV call up, has a pass first mentality. It is something the Ravens haven’t had at the point guard spot in recent years.
The two have stayed pretty grounded despite the high expectations around them.
“We don’t really pay attention to it,” Wilson said. “We hear everybody talking, but we try to focus on school and basketball.”
Ross is the squad’s best shooter and can easily be their leading scorer on any night. Cahiem Brown, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard has a chance to have a breakout season because of his improved strength and jump shot.
“He might be the X-Factor for us,” Lopez said.
Bryan Adams, the teams’ best defender, and Lydell Geffrard will both see time in the center spot. Freshman combo guard Omar Silverio and back up point guard Malik Mooving both impressed early on. They complete a St. Raymond lineup that has depth, speed and plenty of length. It gives this group of Ravens a chance to shine this year and beyond after playing behind the graduated, Tory Ferguson, Luis Santos and Kayvon Williams.
“We have the new names,” Brown said. “We got the young talent, so I think we can step up to the challenge and succeed.”
Lopez made sure to get them as much time together as possible. They played at IS8 and the Playaz basketball league in New Jersey during the offseason against some of the area’s best teams. Now they have to do it against the likes of Christ the King, Cardinal Hayes, Iona Prep and the rest of the CHSAA.
“I think we do have a special group, people just think we are young,” Wilson said. This is going to be a fun and exciting year for us.”