The Ravio's....Rick, Derek & Nic (Mountain View)
When asked if there was a strong feeling to want to have Derek sign and play for the University of Portland, Rick Ravio, Derek and Nic's father, said that he looked hard at Portland, but in the end "Derek had to do what was best for him".
Rick Ravio was a star player at the University of Portland in the late 70's, playing with Darwin Cook on one of the most successful teams the Pilots have ever had. Cook ended up with a brief NBA career and his son now is a probable U of P recruit. "I had a better college career than a high school career" Rick says. Rick played for Benson High School, on what may have been one of the very best high school teams in the history of Oregon. That team included the likes of Richard Washington (UCLA) an NBA Lottery Pick and Ricky Lee (Oregon State). Rick also had a shot at an NBA trial and found that their is a fine line between what coaches want and are looking for.
"I wasn't really recruited out of high school because I was what you call a "tweener". Derek received more letters in one day than I ever did. The University of Portland and Montana were the only schools that were interested" Rick says. Rick ended up starting out at Willamette University, but once he was there felt that he didn't "want to sell himself short", called the University of Portland back and asked if they still had the scholarship. They did, and Rick transfered to University onThe Bluff.
Derek who verbally committed to the Zag's last summer just signed with Gonazaga during the early signing period. Gonazaga coaches see the upside in Derek, who Rick states "has his best years ahead of him". Derek hasn't physically matured at this point, and with another year to put some weight on and adjust to the college game, it may be a bonus if the plan at Gonzaga is to use Derek's first year as a "red-shirt" year.
In talking with Rick Ravio about the recruiting process, Rick says that there is a big difference between recruiting today compared to what it was 20 years ago. "The kind of National exposure that is available today didn't exist when I was in high school". Today we're hearing about kid's from the 7th Grade and up" due to the number of Regional & National AAU Youth Tournaments and select tournaments kids are playing in around the country. "It used to be that you had to get to the State Tournament to be seen and earn a scholarship, now you can get a scholarship in the summer and play for a championship during the season".
In spite of Derek's success at Mountain View High School in Vancouver, Washington, Derek wasn't receiving the type of notoriety you would expect from college recruiters. Vancouver "is a nook and cranny" that doesn't get much exposure, Rick says. Derek, a 6'-0" point gaurd, averaged just over 14 points a game as a Sophomore and last year averaged 22.7, received All-League recognition both years. However, it wasn't until Derek was asked to play for Troy Berry's Portland Legends team that the recruiting and notoriety picked up. Traveling to Houston, Derek seized his opportunity and played extremely well, attracting the attention of several colleges, among them the Gonazaga Bulldogs.
"It's tough to get a read on high school kids today" says Rick. There is much more scouting by the area high school teams. Derek attracks a lot of attention as far as defenses go from the teams in the Greater St. Helens 4A League. Derek will get a "box-and-one" because he doesn't have the talent around him that he has on a summer select team. "Summer teams do not spend as much time scouting and have to defend more players, so its easier to show what you can do"
"It's a crap shoot" when talking about the recruiting today. "They're going to find the 6'-9" or 6'-10" kid. They're looking for the sure thing. But if you're 6'-2' or 6'-3", a kid isn't going to get many looks except locally. My advise to young players is that you have to play somewhere at a summer tournament where the chances of being seen by several college coaches is greater. And once you're there you have to be exceptional and somebody has to watch you. That's when things can change"
Rick agrees that their is a ton of talent in the Northwest. "That is why the Lewis & Clark's, Western Babtist's, Willamette's and the Linfield's do so well." There are a number of players who if they lived in California would have received some offers from Division I & II programs. Unfortunately, a few of our good players in this area don't get any recognition and go un-recruited by the larger schools.
Rick describes brothers Derek and Nic the "best and worst of friends". Typical of sibling's competing to be their own man. The younger Nic, a 5'-10" Junior, averaged 14.5 points per game last year and appears ready to duplicate his older brothers success. "The two have to share the same ride", Rick says. So when one goes to school or the gym, the other pretty much has to go along. For now, Nic is in the shadow of his brother Derek, and looks forward to being able to not depend on Derek next year when he is a Senior.
Mountain View missed qualifying for the State Tournament last year, losing a hard fought contest with rival Battle Ground. With the development of some of Mountain View's younger players fortune could change this season. What ever happens, the Northwest has produced another Division I basketball player who will be playing for one of the most popular programs in the country when March Madness heats up.