Profile: Allan Ray

Liam Murphy

Being a part of one of the nation’s top recruiting classes isn’t all that big of a deal to Allan Ray, the freshman guard from St. Raymond’s High School, located in the Bronx, N.Y. The New York Catholic league produces some of the best basketball talent in the country, and Ray showed that he is one of the reasons why.

In his junior year at St. Raymond’s, Ray averaged 15 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game. It was that year that he helped lead his team to a state championship, an accomplishment that every player wants on his resume. “Winning the states my junior year was just awesome,” Ray said. “In my sophomore year we had won the city championship but were eliminated in our first game in the states. We felt like there was a big hole inside of us. Junior year, we came out and just focused on our goals,” said Ray. Villanova Head Coach is glad to have Ray in his backcourt. “Allan is truly one of the great New York City guards,” said Wright. “We love his toughness and savvy. He is an outstanding student in the great tradition of the St. Raymond’s program.”

One can only imagine what it is like to come in as one of the top players out of high school, but to come in with other players who are as talented might make some players nervous. Not Ray. “There isn’t a whole lot of pressure, we haven’t done anything yet.” The confident Ray knows there is a lot of hype coming with his class and his new basketball team, and he likes being in the spotlight. “I like the attention, but now all we got to do is back it up, and show people what we can do,” he said. And Ray did just that. In Villanova’s first preseason game, he finished with 17 points and lead the team with 19 in the second game.

Coming in as a freshman and being an important part of the offense is nothing new for the 6-2 guard. The older players around him know that it takes the whole team to win ball games. “The upperclassmen have been great. They want to succeed as much as we do,” said Ray, who is competing with another freshman, Randy Foye, for time in the backcourt, currently led by junior Derrick Snowden and senior Gary Buchanan. Snowden ran the point last year and gained a lot of experience his freshman year, while Buchanan is a preseason all Big East Second Team member this year. “Snow, Gary, Randy and I are all competitors, so we work hard in practice. Randy and I know that we’ll get our chance. Right now we have to look to those guys and learn from their experience as basketball players,” said Ray. “The upperclassmen on this team have a lot of love for us. They are like brothers to us, but at the same time teachers as well.”

Along with classmate Foye, Ray has been marked as one of the team’s comedians. Playing jokes on teammates and making fun of people seems like it comes easy to the freshman shooter. “I like to make people laugh. The whole team is an easy target. We all joke around together,” he said.

Ray and the Wildcats open their season tonight in the “worlds most famous arena” in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Playing close to home in the inagural game of his college career is going to be quite a memory for Ray. “Playing at the Garden is a dream come true. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time, as I am sure it is for many players,” he said. Tonight Ray will accomplish one of his dreams, and there is another that he wants to say he did. “”The first thing I wanted to do,” he said, “was play in a good high school program and I got there. The second thing was that I wanted to be able to earn a Division I college scholarship. And the last one is the dream that every player should have: to make it to the NBA.” If his preseason games were indications of things to come, let’s hope Ray sticks around a while before he accomplishes that last goal.