Trinity High School power forward Raymond Spalding, rated the nation’s No. 22 senior by 247Sports.com, signed a national letter of intent to the University of Louisville last month after verbally committing to the Cardinals this summer. He scored 14 points in Tuesday night’s season-opening victory over Jeffersonville. Spalding’s mother, Geri, spoke with The Courier-Journal about seeing her son .sign to play college ball.
He’s been verbally committed for several months, but what was it like to see Raymond officially sign with Louisville?
Very proud, exciting. I’m glad that all the recruiting is done. (Laughing.) That got a little overwhelming. But I’m happy for him.
Has it completely sunk in that he’ll be playing here in town and playing for Louisville?
I’m excited. I’m hoping that everyone does continue with this love that this hometown body gets and praying that he does everything that you all are looking for him to do at U of L.
What has the last couple months been like since he committed to Louisville and everybody knows that your kid is committed to Louisville?
A sigh of relief. (Big exhale.) It got kind of overwhelming, but I know he made a good choice. T be coached under Rick Pitino is just awesome. It’s awesome.
What do you think that will be like for you to sit in your seat the KFC Yum! Center and watch him play?
It’s going to be crazy. (Laughing, whispering.) It’s just not in my wildest dreams that my child has this scholarship to attend this prestigious university under this great man. The atmosphere, the lights, the fans, it’s just, wow.
When Coach Pitino was discussing the signing class he was talking about how polite Ray is, how good of a guy he is. I’m sure you encountered that with other coaches during the process. What do you think about these coaches having this respect for Ray?
At first with all the other coaches, you hear the same thing. But it was just a difference with Coach Pitino. The way he spoke on my child and saying how he could make him a success reassured me that he is going to be in good hands. Him seeing his talent and saying how he can also build and make him into the player he wants to be (stood out), and he said, if he comes here, he’s got to love basketball. Coach Pitino loves basketball, so he said, ‘If he wants it, he can get it, and I’ll take him there.’ And I truly believe that. He said he saw that in my son.
Have you gotten used to, basically, how good Ray is yet?
No, I haven’t. (Laughing). Because every time I see something different. I see some to where it’s like, ‘Whoa, look at him!’ from like the rebounds to the points.
What do you think about just how tall he is?
I’m average height, about 5-8. His dad is 6-2. His height came out of the blue. I said he’s truly blessed because God had a plan for him. Nobody is that tall in my family. He was prematurely born, and then his doctors said he’s just growing off the chart.
How premature was he?
He was two months (premature). He weighed 3 pounds, 4 ounces. … Now he’s 6-10, 210 pounds, and oh my God, I’m just so thankful, so thankful.