Introducing quickly emerging forward Rafael Castro
In the coming weeks, we will be looking at several under-the-radar prospects that were primed to use the travel circuit to boost their recruiting stock this summer. Now, with grassroots basketball on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, these prospects may not get the exposure in the coming months as they would have otherwise.
Today, we take a look at Rafael Castro.
WHO IS HE?
Castro is a 6-foot-9, 190-pound power forward that brings great length, quickness and ultimately, a bevy of versatility to the floor thanks to his size, ranginess and athleticism.
A member of the 2021 class, Castro just completed his junior year at Dover High School, located just 40-miles west of New York City. This past winter, he averaged 20.3 points, 16.3 rebounds, 4.7 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He is slated to run with the Rio University program on the Under Armour circuit this summer.
Despite not having a travel season to compete on this spring and with the loss of the two evaluation periods last month, Castro has seen his recruitment expand thanks to a plethora of offers and more interest from the higher levels.
He holds close to a dozen offers from Boston University, Dayton, Fairleigh Dickinson, George Mason, Marist, Seton Hall, Stony Brook, St. Peter’s, UMass and VCU. Others showing interest include Arkansas, Florida, Kansas State, Miami, Nebraska, St. John’s, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. Castro has not taken a single visit, either in the official or unofficial variety, as of yet.
WHY I LIKE HIM
Right from the start, the length that Castro possesses stands out. However, he is not just a lanky big man that can block a shot every now and again but rather an uberly-versatile forward that is tremendously coordinated in which he exchanges ends of the floor like someone six inches shorter, has great lateral abilities in moving side to side, and quick feet in getting to balls before others around the basket.
A tremendously talented defender that reminds me some of Jaxson Hayes, Castro does have to get much stronger and work on his low post game and left hand around the basket. He scores more times than not at the goal and has good touch and innate toughness in finishing through contact. Better yet, he is a tremendous lob threat, works the dunker’s spot well along the baseline and seems to flourish as a rim runner whenever the speed of the game picks up.
Offensively, Castro is not a finished product but he is also not unrefined, either. He can comfortably hit the catch and shoot jumper to 20-feet and has a solid feel for the game, regardless of whether his back is to the basket or is facing it. He is a good passer that can make the appropriate play in the half-court and brings quality instincts to both sides of the floor.
Castro would have blown up this spring if the two evaluation periods would have remained intact. I still believe that more programs are coming for the super intriguing forward and that he is worthy of high-major attention which is why his interest list is so diverse, littered with a bevy of quality mid-majors and also power conference suitors.