Although she doesn’t graduate for another two years, former Bullis basketball standout Raven James has already made her college decision.
James, a rising junior point guard at Paul VI, has verbally committed to play college basketball at Villanova.
James said she made a pledge to the Wildcats because it was “the right fit” academically and she felt comfortable with the coaching staff.
“They’ve been there for a while,” said James, who spent her freshman campaign at Bullis before transferring to Paul VI last year. “They were there recruiting me since seventh grade.”
The Philadelphia area school also has the academic curriculum that the teenager wants to study.
“They have a great international relations program which is what I want to major in,” said James.
Villanova head coach Harry Perretta and assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Heather Vulin showed genuine concern for James’ future, she said.
“They seemed like they had my best interest at heart,” added James, “and they seemed like they’re not only worried about the now but they’re worried about after basketball is over and what I’m going to do as far as my career.”
Ron James, Raven’s father and Team Takeover AAU coach, said his daughter had at least five offers and five more schools were showing very strong interest.
“She was considering North Carolina State as well as St. Joseph’s and George Washington,” said Ron James.
As a high school freshman, James helped lead Bullis to a 21-5 record including an ISL AA tournament championship.
As a sophomore last season, the 5-foot-6 point guard averaged seven points, five assists and two steals per game in helping lead Paul VI to a 29-5 record.
The Panthers also captured the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships along with the Fairfax school’s eighth consecutive Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association division one state championship.
With the graduation of Ariana Freeman (Louisville) and Lindsay Oblitey (Virginia Tech), James said she hopes to make a bigger impact next season.
“I think my role,” said James, “is going to be trying to be more of a leader next year.”