football

Raivio Ready to Roll at Gonzaga

Derek Raivio, a clever 6-0, 155 pound point guard from Vancouver (WA) Mountain
View HS, first caught our eye when he burst onto the national stage last spring
in Texas. He has since parlayed that into not only a scholarship from Gonzaga,
but also a fantastic, record-setting senior season.
Raivio recently took part in the Northwest Shootout all-star game in Portland
as a member of Team Washington. While he didn't have a great shooting night in
the game (1-for-13 from the field, 0-for-9 from behind the arc), Raivio's play
at the point was spectacular, as he racked up seven assists against only one
turnover, and flawlessly led Team Washington's fast break. He even hooked up
with future Zag teammate Adam Morrison on a pair of spectacular alley-oops.
With the win, the Washington All-Stars captured their second victory in the
ten-year history of the game.
"This year we actually played together and really proved a lot of people wrong
because they think that Washington and Seattle, we're all selfish and stuff,"
said Raivio. "We just found the open guy, played our game, and got up and
down."
While it was great for friends and family getting a chance to see Raivio play
in an all-star game close to his Vancouver home, there was also an added
benefit to the game being right across the river in Portland.
"I had to take a test Friday," said Raivio. "So that was the good thing about
it. I could go back and forth, stay with the team and also take the test. So
that was convenient."
It's been a nice progression for Raivio, who has grown from a scrawny,
tentative ninth-grader to one of the best players ever out of the Vancouver
area.
"I had to wait my turn my freshman year because I was undersized," he said.
"My sophomore year I was more of a true point guard. We had some scorers on
the team so I wasn't the primary guy."
"My junior and senior year it was kind of my show," he said. "I had the green
light whenever. I could get my teammates involved, but when it was my turn I
could do my thing."
The clever point guard certainly did his "thing" as a senior, breaking records
left and right. Raivio averaged 29.2 points, and broke school marks for points
in a game (45), season (700), and career (1568). Those marks also rank amongst
the best all-time in Clark County history.
Most got their first taste of Raivio and his talents at last spring's Kingwood
Classic in Houston, catching him leading Troy Berry's Portland Legends team.
After his great performance in that tournament, Raivio's list exploded from
Portland (his father's alma mater) to the likes of Arizona, Indiana, Stanford,
Texas, and UCLA. But there was one program - Gonzaga - that was the perfect
fit for him. Raivio verballed to Mark Few over the summer and signed on the
dotted line in the fall.
"I chose Gonzaga because of the great system they have and the early playing
time I could have next year," said Raivio. "It's just a great family up there
and it's a basketball school."
Raivio - whose game has drawn comparisons to some other great Pacific
Northwest-native point guards such as Luke Ridnour and Dan Dickau - knows that
he needs to get bigger physically. But he also understands that he needs to
improve all parts of his game in order to play at the next level.
"The biggest thing I need to do right now is get stronger," said Raivio. "But
everything I need to get better at if I want to be a significant contributor
next year."
Raivio plans to major in Business and will enroll in school in the summer. He
is ready to contribute in whatever way he can for Gonzaga in the fall.
"This year and the next there will be some great teams," said Raivio. "That's
the best thing; they're going to have the best teams coming up ahead of them.
There will be high expectations."
"Coach Few and the other coaches told me to get ready and get prepared."
Jed Tai ia a senior writer for Hoopville.com.
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