Attention was heaped upon Raphiael 'Skinny Man' Putney, a six-foot-eight and a half inch, 170 pound senior forward from Woodbridge, VA, this summer. After joining Triple Threat AAU (much of which is now Team Takeover), Putney turned heads during the open evaluation period, and in the process generated much interest from colleges.
"I went to George Washington" on an unofficial visit shared Putney, whose Team Takeover cronies dubbed 'Skinny Man', at Hoop Magic's Back to School Showcase in August. Raphiael was not there to compete, but just support friends.
Putney, in Reebok Headliner Tryout Camp gear. The Woodbridge, VA resident earned his way to Philadelphia for the company's All-American Camp. For coverage click here.
He went on to note "I'm going to visit George Mason" soon thereafter, a school that along with "UMass, Rhode Island and Niagara" were on his list. At various points many schools interested Putney, including Howard, St. Joes, and Oregon State, amongst others.
Fast forward a month and half to last weekend's DMV vs. Philly Challenge, and a college had just been picked. "I'm going to UMass. I just decided today!" shared a happy and seemingly relieved Putney, before taking the floor and garnering MVP of the senior game. "I chose them because I like the coaches and players at UMass".
That includes assistant coach Antwon Jackson, who was Raphiael's primary recruiter, as well as head man Derek Kellogg, in his first year as head coach at UMass, the school in which he played and graduated.
"It's a good situation for him, in terms of them getting up and down the court" opined Team Takeover's Keith Stevens, that organization's director, who Putney credits greatly for exposure, development and meeting his goal of a college scholarship. "They are a growing program, and he'll get an opportunity to play immediately".
Going forward, expect Raphiael to of course get stronger (as his nickname indicates a need for), and improve his ball handling, both of which will augment Putney's already eye-popping athleticism and more than decent jump shot; its not uncommon to see 'Skinny Man' fly down the lane and dunk in transition one possession, and pull up for a rainbow jumper the next.
But before he hits UMass, Putney declared there is another goal yet to be accomplished. "I'm trying to win the States", he said, something possible for Woodbridge High School (VA), as the school returns a talented and veteran crew – "We've played together since middle school" he noted – in addition to Raphiael blossoming into a standout player personally.
Whatever occurs, Woodbridge will likely not be 11-10 this year. Raphaiel 'Skinny Man' is determned not to allow that.
The UMass denizens have a talent coming north next year.
Provided by Ron Bailey, Publisher, i95Ballerz.com
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