CHAMPAIGN – His coach had no doubts Rayvonte Rice was ready to play varsity basketball as a sophomore. In fact, Tim Lavin had seen enough of this precocious youngster to be convinced Rice deserved to be in the Centennial starting lineup last season.
"It was obvious after his freshman year that he was ready – talentwise, bodywise, athleticwise – for varsity," the Chargers coach said recently. "No doubt about it."
Centennial’s James Kinney is the lastest in a line of Division I basketball recruits from the area. The senior has been kind enough to give us
an inside look at how the mind-boggling business of college recruiting works.
The versatile guard, who committed to Ohio on Monday, will write
a monthly diary for The News-Gazette, as told to staff writer Jeff Huth:
I really appreciate the large turnout Monday night for my announcement of where I'm heading to college.
About 50 people showed up at the high school to hear that I had made an oral commitment to Ohio University. Everybody coming out and showing me support, it meant a lot to me.
CHAMPAIGN – John Groce and his Ohio University basketball staff might have been latecomers to the recruitment of James Kinney, but that didn't keep the Bobcats from quickly moving to the head of the line.
Barely three months after the Centennial senior guard first heard from Groce – a former Ohio State assistant who was named Bobcats coach on June 27 – Kinney decided he need look no farther for his future college home.
CHAMPAIGN — John Groce and his Ohio University basketball staff might have been latecomers to the recruitment of James Kinney, but that didn’t keep the Bobcats from quickly moving to the head of the line.
Barely three months after the Centennial senior guard first heard from Groce — a former Ohio State assistant who was named Bobcats coach on June 27 — Kinney decided he need look no farther for his future college home.
Walker at Seton Academy – not Centennial
When Jordan Walker was spotted recently at Centennial High School during student registration, rumors started flying that the former Champaign Central forward would be playing for the Chargers this season.
Each week, staff writer Marcus Jackson poses five questions to an area prep athlete. This week's guest is Centennial football and basketball player Rayvonte Rice.
CHAMPAIGN – For the past three years, Champaign Central basketball coach Scott Davis knew that when things got tough, he could rely on Verdell Jones, Donald Stewart and Keith Biggers.
"I have to admit, it was always nice to look up and see all those 6-foot-5 guys," Davis said. "We're certainly missing them."
TUSCOLA – He's called only Tuscola home for his 18 years. But tonight, John Wienke is leaving home to begin his college football career at Iowa.
And with his dad and former coach Stan Wienke set to continue his coaching career at Waterloo West High in the Hawkeye state, home has a new address.
NEW CASTLE, Ind. – It's about memories and remembering.
It's about the special moments of today that take less than 24 hours to become part of our glorious past.
Here are the 15 members of the 76th News-Gazette All-State boys' basketball team, as well as the second team, special mention and honorable mention players: