Last summer Deonte McRae showed up for team tryouts with minimal organized basketball experience but a strong desire to play.
McRae had 6-3 height, but he was a little small for a post player and he had played neither B-team or JV hoops so at first his chances of making a varsity team with several returning lettermen weren’t exactly in his favor. However, he won over the Summerville High School coaches.
“He always shows up for practice and he comes ready to play,” Green Wave coach Greg Elliott said. “I wish all our kids had his enthusiasm.”
McRae considers making the team his top athletic accomplishment.
“I practiced every day last summer and just put all the effort into it I could and I made the squad,” he said. “Then whenever we would go up by 15 or 20 points they would put me in.”
The center/forward is hoping to play a bigger role with the team his senior season and knows the work he puts in this offseason will largely determine if he achieves his goal.
“I need to get my body right,” he said. “I need to be bigger and hopefully a little bit taller. I need to practice more.”
Many of his classmates know McRae for his style and humor, but he also has another side.
“Most people know me for my hair,” he said. “I’m jokey sometimes and like to be the entertainer, but I can be serious when I have to be. I’m always joking around so people might be surprised that in the classroom I’m different and I make good grades.”
His favorite athlete is LeBron James.
“He is just incredible,” McRae said of the NBA star. “He has the size. He can shoot or post up; he can do it all.”
McRae hasn’t made any concrete plans but says he does want to attend college.
“I haven’t figured out what I want to do, but I like History,” he said. “I don’t think I want to be a history teacher but I might major in history because that is something I would like to learn more about.”