Sidney Wilson has grown comfortable in his role as St. Raymond’s star after an up and down sophomore season. The 6-foot-7 rising junior wing has done so by learning the balance between expanding his game, while using the tools he already has to dominate.
“People tell me you have to showcase you can play the perimeter, but you have to go down low,” Wilson said. “If I am playing against a smaller guy and I can score on him every time, I am going to go down low every time. If not, I have to showcase what I need to do. I am going to get my team a win.”
Early last year when St. Raymond got off to a hot start, Wilson was playing the way coach Jorge Lopez envisioned. He was attacking the basket and the glass and was getting points on offensive put backs. When the Ravens went into a mid-year losing streak Wilson fell too in love with the jump shot.
“I think sometime in his mind, because he know he is going to play the three at the next level, I have to remind him and explain to him that at this level he should be dominating because his game should be working its way from the inside out,” Lopez said.
While the losing didn’t land squarely on his shoulders, Wilson stepped up and put it there. He became more of a vocal leader and then made sure his actions spoke loader than his words after a team meeting. Wilson picked up his play and the Ravens caught fire and made a run to the CHSAA Archdiocesan final. He averaged 14.7 points per contest last season.
“I was really looking at myself like, I am one of the best players in the city,” Wilson said. “I figured it was my fault mostly that my team wasn’t ready to win those games and play up to our potential.”
Lopez hasn’t seen Wilson go back to his old ways since then, but would still like to see him be active, more consistently. During the process Wilson has posted some monster games this summer, including 45 points in a win at Conrad McRae.
“When he is active he is out his best,” Lopez said.
Wilson’s play has garnered him plenty of attention from college. He offers from
South Florida, Providence, Minnesota, Fordham, VCU, Indiana, Cincinnati and Rutgers. He isn’t satisfied. Wilson, who is already one of the city’s top shot blockers, has focused on improving defending smaller, quicker players on the perimeter. Doing so will push him towards being an elite recruit.
The recruiting process hasn’t overwhelmed Wilson. He’s embraced the attention from spectators and coach. He sounded like a kid on Christmas morning when talking about waiting for the first day college coaches could make contact with him in early July.
If it ever doesn’t get stressful he listens to solid advice from his family friends and coaches.
“When it gets too much they will tell me to take a step back and take some time off,” he said. “I just take a little time of and everything is going to be ok.”
He’s done the same with his game and role at St. Raymond and ended up in a much better place with his junior year about to begin.
“I can do a lot of things,” Wilson said. “I can rebound. I can score. I can defend. When I am dong that and being active I feel my team can beat everybody.”