Spalding’s decision takes pressure off senior season


Senior Raymond Spalding and friends defend against Owensboro in the first round of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

Daniel Russell, Staff Reporter

Trinity senior Raymond Spalding is a student-athlete who definitely stands out.  A 6-10 center and dominant force on the Shamrocks basketball team, Spalding might be the most heavily recruited basketball player to come out of the Trinity program.

Spalding, who made his decision in the latter part of June, chose to stay home and continue his basketball career at the University of Louisville. When asked why he committed so early, Spalding said, “I wanted to get it out of the way  to avoid all those phone calls. It will help keep me focused during my senior year and season.”

A First Team All-State selection last year, Spalding has already had a great career at Trinity, but he does not feel that he has done enough yet. He averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks a game last season and is a favorite to win Mr. Basketball in Kentucky this year. Despite his success, Spalding still has his eyes set on team goals.

He said “making it to the Final Four in Rupp Arena last year” is his greatest basketball accomplishment so far.  His goals are higher this year:  “Get good grades and win state.”

Having played with him since the fourth grade, teammate Michael Stafford praised Spalding. “He makes the game fun and easy. The ceiling does not stop for Ray. He has a great chance to make it to the NBA if he can stay focused.”

Stafford said Louisville is the right place for Spalding to continue his career, with Duke as a second choice.

While Duke was on Spalding’s list of possible college choices, he said he would “love to beat Duke at Cameron Indoor and silence their crowd.” Spalding also considered Indiana, Xavier, Tennessee and Florida. Instead, he chose to stay home and play with some familiar faces. He said he has met future teammates Donavan Mitchell and Deng Adel. Together they make up one of the top recruiting classes for the 2015 season.

Who influenced Spalding’s decision? Family — “my grandma, my stepdad and my mother. My stepdad is my role model. He always kept me on the right path, and he was there when my father was not.”

When asked how much basketball means to him, Spalding answered with one word: “Everything.”