NEW TEXAS POWER HEADS TO NOLA
Rodney McCray played in the NBA for 11 seasons for the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls following a brilliant college career at Louisville. He won a ring with the Bulls and was part of a national championship team at Louisville under Denny Crum. McCray knows what it takes to win and he is busy building a winner at an elite school in Houston.
Victory Prep is a young, budding power in the state of Texas. The Cardinals will participate in the 4th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic January 2-4 at the Alario Center in Westwego, sponsored by SportsNOLA.com.
McCray's Cardinals started the season 9-8 against steep competition. Athletic Director Butch Sigler is pleased with the team's progress.
"We have a very young team with eight or nine of our top players being freshmen and sophomores," Sigler said. "Coach McCray is building them up, teaching and molding character. They are well on the way to being a very good team."
The Cardinals feature the the top-ranked freshman in the nation in point forward Jarred Vanderbilt (6'8), who is averaging a double-double. Other top players include senior Ryan Stalling, Paris Williams and LeJuan Hardy (5'11). Vanderbilt is averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds while Stalling is averaging 12 points per game.
Vanderbilt has made the adjustment from middle school to high school very well and is far beyond his years. Sophomore Marvin Powell (6'4) is the second leading scorer, averaging 12 points and eight rebounds. Victory Prep goes with a 10-man rotation, typically and plays an up-tempo, open floor style.
Sophomores Mongo Cornett and Alex Holcombe are both 6'8, giving great size, along with Vanderbilt and Walter Prevost (6'7). Freshmen John Dockery and guard Michael Kimball (5'11) are other key contributors.
"As an open enrollment charter school, we have many young men who are new to the program and it takes time to adjust but things are improving," Sigler said. "We are excited about the prospects for the future."
Victory opened its season in the St. Thomas/University of St. Thomas Basketball Classic and they beat talented teams in John Paul II of Corpus Christian and St. Thomas.
Victory Prep plays in the Texas Christian Athletic League, their first year in the league. Sigler says the Cardinals are looking forward with great anticipation to playing in the New Orleans area.
"The Cardinals are very excited to play in such a national event as the Sugar Bowl, in New Orleans with all of its attractions and to see a different city," Sigler said. "Having been in Louisiana for years, I fully understand how significant the Sugar Bowl is and how prestigious it is to be part of an event with their name on it."
With a brilliant young player in Vanderbilt, the price of admission to see Vanderbilt will be worth it.