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Marc Raye Jr. receives scholarship to next level

Raye Jr. chose ECSU over teams that expressed interest

Marc Raye Jr. receives scholarship to next level
May 11
15:56 2022

Marc Raye Jr. is not the biggest kid on the court, but the size of his heart cannot be measured. The Reynolds’ senior is one of the fiercest competitors in the area and that has enabled him to earn a scholarship to play basketball next year at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU).

Raye Jr. chose ECSU over teams that expressed interest such as Johnson C. Smith, Davidson, Fayetteville State, Virginia Commonwealth, North Carolina A&T and others. Raye Jr. says he felt the Vikings were the best fit for him over all the other suitors.

“It was the coach. I just loved everything about him. He was real, he would hold you accountable, and he is just a good dude,” said Raye Jr. about what sold him on Elizabeth City State.

Raye Jr. began his prep career at Albemarle High School with his father, Raye Sr., as his head coach. He thrived in that environment, racking up countless awards and accolades playing with Albemarle. He was good enough to play varsity as a freshman and it did not take him long to find his footing on that level.

“That helped me a lot because I got thrown straight into the fire,” Raye Jr. said about playing on varsity as a freshman. “I was prepared, and I knew that it would get me ready to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish for my sophomore year.”

Having his father as his head coach was a dream come true for Raye Jr. He felt that allowed him to be more relaxed and just play his game.

“Playing for him let me just be me,” he said about playing for his dad. “I wasn’t really a scorer, but I had to score and that was something I built while I was down there. I was really good at it, better than I thought I was.”

For his senior season, Raye Jr. chose to transfer to Reynolds High School for his senior year. Being from Winston, Raye Jr. wanted to come back and play his final season at home. He also wanted to play against the better competition on the 4A level that would help raise his recruiting profile.

“From a coaching standpoint, because of the numbers he had and how well he climbed so fast, he had outgrown the program at Albemarle,” said Marc Raye Sr,, Raye Jr.’s father. “Most coaches would be selfish and want him to stay, but as his father, I had to sacrifice that, so I was willing to put my coaching career to the side so he could step forward and be the basketball player he needed to be to have a remote chance of obtaining a scholarship.”

Even though Raye Jr. achieved a lot of individual success with Albemarle, he didn’t reach the level of team success he was yearning for. Having the opportunity to win more games and possibly play for a state championship was another reason for the transfer to Reynolds.

“I just wanted to win, that’s it; I was tired of losing,” he said. “I wanted to prove to myself and other people that what they saw wasn’t just talk, I could actually play.”

Raye Jr. thrived on the 4A level just like he did on the 1A level with Albemarle. He was voted to the All-Conference team his senior year at Reynolds and was one of the leaders on the team. 

Raye Jr. is appreciative of his father for all of the things Raye Sr. has done to get him to this point.

“I wouldn’t be here without him. If it wasn’t for him taking me to the gym, waking me up and making me go to the gym when I didn’t feel like it,” Raye Jr. said about his dad. “If it wasn’t for him getting the head coaching job down there (Albemarle), I wouldn’t have the opportunity I have now, because when I was going into high school, nobody really wanted to give me a chance.  

“After that, people started wanting to give me a chance after they saw what I was doing. I was like, why believe in me now when y’all didn’t believe in me when I was going into high school? Now they see me doing what I was doing, now they wanted to give me a chance. He (Raye Sr.) was the only one that believed in me.”

Raye Jr. said it felt good to prove a lot of people wrong that doubted him because of his height early on in his prep career, but knows there is more work to be done.

“I just know that I am not done, and I still have more to do,” he said. “Until I know that I am done, I still have more. Until I know that I am done, and I have done all that I am supposed to do, I am not satisfied.”

Raye Sr. said Raye Jr. was born into the game of basketball at birth. Raye Sr. is a long-time coach, so it was inevitable that Raye Jr. would be attracted to the game, but it was the hard work and dedication that got him to this point in his life. Raye Sr. says it’s been a pleasure to watch his son make it this far and feels he will probably shed a tear when Raye Jr. puts on that Viking jersey for the first time.

Raye Sr. and Jr. wanted to give a special thank you to his trainers over the years that really helped Raye Jr. along the way, such as Drew Cone, AJ Atkinson, Eric Ambrosio and Lamont Atwater of Maxx Fitness.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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