Derek Raivio, a clever 6-0, 155 pound point guard from Mountainview H.S. in Vancouver, Wash., was one of the top sleepers to emerge from this past weekend's Kingwood Classic in Texas.
Prior to the tournament, Raivio had one offer on the table from nearby Portland. But after leading Troy Berry's Portland Legends program into the Sweet 16 at the loaded tournament, Raivio's options widened quite a bit.
"He is one of the top point guards in the country," said Berry, who also coached Kansas freshman Aaron Miles a few years back with the Legends. "It's just really tough for us in our area for people to get assessments, because we don't have exposure like the major cities throughout the rest of the country."
"It really the first time that people got an opportunity to see him," Berry continued. "I hear that there were some great point guards that he played against, but I didn't see any better guards, because of his ability to not only play under control, but score and involve his teammates."
In addition to Portland, Raivio now lists Gonzaga, Pepperdine, Indiana, Arizona and Stanford among the colleges who are courting him this spring. And expect that list to grow exponentially if he continues to have a strong spring.
In fact, Berry said that Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Cal Santa Barbara are among those who have jumped in on Raivio after his Kingwood Classic performance.
Raivio averaged 23 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals per game this past season at Mountainview H.S.
"He reminds me a bit of [Gonzaga's] Dan Dickau or [Oregon's] Luke Ridnour, but I think at this point in his basketball career, he has more upside," Berry said. "He's not a streaky shooter, he's a pure shooter, and like those two, he's a stone cold basketball junkie."
Perhaps people should have seen this coming with Raivio. Berry said that Derek's father was a standout at the University of Portland a few decades ago and even made the Los Angeles Lakers' roster until a knee injury put a damper on his pro aspirations.
Raivio plays the game with a fearlessness that belies his lithe frame.
"After the other guards found out he could play a little bit, they were trying to get physical with him, but it didn't really affect his ability to get to the basket and the paint area," Berry said. "He hit some running floaters and involved his teammates, and he has a great ability to create space and shoot the ball."
On top of all the basketball skills, Raivio is also a standout in the classroom. He said he has a 3.7 GPA and will take the PSAT in June.
Right now, Raivio has not been invited to the Nike All-American Camp in Indianapolis in July, but Berry hopes that a consistently strong spring on the hoops circuit will get Derek an invite to the exclusive camp.
In the meantime, Raivio will suit up for the Legends this spring and summer. Their travel itinerary will include pit stops at the Howard Pulley Tournament this weekend in Minneapolis, the Nike Memorial Day Classic in Bloomington, Ind., later this month, as well as the adidas Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas in late July.
And if all goes well for the Legends this spring in tournament competition, possibly a slot in the elite 24-team Peach Jam Field in mid-July, where a bevy of college coaches will once again get a chance to see him show his wares.
"I don't just think that you can measure his ability and value in his scoring, because he is a point guard and makes all of his teammates better and the other kids love to play with him," Berry said. "But he has no idea of his value right now, the phones are just blowing up and people all over the country are interested in this kid."