Rayven Shead is averaging 19.3 points for Pleasure Ridge Park (7-3), scoring 29 against Madisonville, 27 against Clinton County and 24 against Jeffersontown. The 5-foot-11 senior grabbed 12 rebounds in a victory over Marion County and 17 against Clinton County. Next season she will play for Berea College under new coach Trent Milby, who guided Marion County to the state title last March.
When did your basketball career really begin?
I didn’t start playing (seriously) until the eighth grade. I didn’t like it at first, but I played. You have to have a passion for the game and I didn’t have it, but something started clicking in the eighth grade. Now I play every day. I play for the Kentucky Lady Retros in AAU ball in the summer. We traveled to Atlanta for a tournament last summer, and I made the all-star team there.
Do you and your brother, Raymond Spalding, play one on one?
We do, but it’s hard because he’s so much taller than me. We usually play at Baxter Community Center, where my dad works. He says it will help me playing against Raymond. I try to shoot over him and not have my shot blocked. Once he dunked on me. I told him, “That’s not fair.”
What motivated you to start making good grades?
In my sophomore year I figured I wanted to go to college, and Coach Meadows told me how smart I was. He said school would be easy if I put all of my potential into my school work.
What’s been your best game this season?
That was against Madisonville in a tournament at Owensboro over Christmas. I had 29 points, but what surprised me is that I took a 3-point shot with four seconds left and made it to force overtime. I had fun that game, even though we lost (70-69).
Why did you choose Berea College?
There was something about Berea that I liked. The coaches and players treated me like I was already going there. It seems like a closely knit school. It’s not too small, and you get to know the teachers and your classmates. Coach Milby is an awesome coach.
What was the best present you got for Christmas?
I got a new flat-screen TV, but the best present was going to Beyonce’s concert at the KFC Yum! Center on Dec. 12. She gave it all she had. She sang all my favorite songs and changed outfits five times.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution?
I want to cheer more for my team when I’m on the bench. I want to make sure they know how proud I am of them.
RAYVEN SHEAD UP CLOSE
Pleasure Ridge Park. Senior. Basketball. Rayven made straight A’s in the first trimester and is in line to repeat that in the current grading period. She calls herself “a math buff” because she “did extra stuff in math early to get it out of the way.” She also is an aide in the school library. Rayven shares time living with her mother, Selois, and father, Raymond Brooks. Her six siblings include one she calls her “little brother,” 6 foot 10 Trinity junior Raymond Spalding. Rayven’s father played football and basketball at PRP and football at North Carolina. “I started coaching Rayven her sophomore year and she has improved so much — not just on the floor, but as a serious student. She struggled early in high school. On the court, she comes to play. She’s as good as any center in the state. She’s just strong inside. We want to get her the ball every time down the floor.”* School: * Year: * Sport:* Student-athlete: * Family: * Coach David Meadows:
— Bob White