ROCKINGHAM — Two days of non-stop basketball will take over the high school’s gymnasium when the Richmond boys basketball team hosts its inaugural Raider Classic Jamboree next weekend.
The Raiders will have a pair of teams in the event — named Richmond A and Richmond B — and, between the two squads, will face off against every school expected to make an appearance: Anson, Fairmont, Gray’s Creek, New Life Christian Academy, Pine Forest, Red Springs (also bringing a “B team”), Scotland, Southern Lee and Union Pines.
Games will be played on the side goals on Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16.
“It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a while and I’m excited,” said Donald Pettigrew, head coach of the Richmond boys basketball team. “We’ve had a couple of open gyms with the returning guys and we’re looking pretty good.”
Pettigrew and the Raiders are coming off one of the program’s roughest seasons in recent memory, finishing the year with a 7-18 overall record and winning fewer than 10 games for the first time in almost a decade.
Although there was a major change in the style of play during Pettigrew’s debut season, he believes the team’s lack of consistency — due to injures, illnesses, lineup changes, etc. — kept it from the success that was seen in previous years.
That’s why next week’s jamboree, and the months that follow, will be crucial for the Raiders as they look to improve their chemistry and better prepare every prospective player, on both the varsity and junior varsity teams, for the season.
“Playing a lot of games in the summer builds that comradery,” Pettigrew said. “I think it’s going to be big for us getting the guys in game situations and getting them familiar with running the (offensive) sets.
“We’re trying to make guys complete basketball players and get their IQ level better this summer,” he added.
Richmond’s A team will consist of the returning varsity players.
Rising senior guard Rod Newton, Pettigrew says, has been working hard since the season ended and is “shooting the ball at a high level right now.” Xavier Pettigrew, Alex Quick, Malik Stanback and Bobby Terry are also members of the Raiders’ stacked senior class who are expected to have an impact during the team’s summer run.
That team is scheduled to compete in three games on Friday against Fairmont (10 a.m.), Union Pines (12 p.m.) and Pine Forest (3 p.m.). On Saturday, it plans on conquering another three games in a span of five hours, as it’s set to battle Gray’s Creek (9 a.m.), Anson (12 p.m.) and Southern Lee (2 p.m.)
Richmond’s B squad will consist of the returning junior varsity players.
The younger squad will go up against Red Springs B (9 a.m.), Pine Forest (12 p.m.) and Red Springs A (2 p.m.) on Friday, and then New Life (11 a.m) and Gray’s Creek (1 p.m.) on Saturday.
“It’s something different … but it’s going to be good for them,” Pettigrew said of the JV players. “I think it’s going to help them out in the long run, playing against varsity competition, because they’re going to see a different speed of the game.
“The young guys we’ve got coming up are going to be pretty good.”
Below is the full schedule for the inaugural Raider Classic Jamboree:
JUNE 15TH – COURT ONE
9 a.m. — Union Pines vs. Scotland
10 a.m. — Richmond A vs. Fairmont
11 a.m. — New Life vs. Anson
12 p.m. — Richmond A vs. Union Pines
1 p.m. — Anson vs. Red Springs B
2 p.m. — Richmond B vs. Red Springs B
3 p.m. — Richmond A vs. Pine Forest
4 p.m. — Anson vs. Red Springs A
JUNE 15TH – COURT TWO
9 a.m. — Richmond B vs. Red Springs B
10 a.m. — Pine Forest vs. Red Springs A
11 a.m. — Scotland vs. Red Springs B
12 p.m. — Richmond B vs Pine Forest
1 p.m. — Scotland vs. New Life
2 p.m. — Fairmont vs. Union Pines
3 p.m. — New Life vs. Fairmont
JUNE 16TH – COURT ONE
9 a.m. — Richmond A vs. Gray’s Creek
10 a.m. — Southern Lee vs. Pine Forest
11 a.m. — Gray’s Creek vs. Union Pines
12 p.m. — Richmond A vs. Anson
1 p.m. — New Life vs. Pine Forest
2 p.m. — Union Pines vs. Anson
3 p.m. — Scotland vs. Pine Forest
JUNE 16TH – COURT TWO
9 a.m. — New Life vs. Union Pines
10 a.m. — Anson vs. Scotland
11 a.m. — New Life vs. Richmond B
12 a.m. — Southern Lee vs. Scotland
1 p.m. — Gray’s Creek vs. Richmond B
2 p.m. — Southern Lee vs. Richmond
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.