Friday, August 21, 2015

St. Andrew's Ralby Takes Game To Johns Hopkins

St. Andrew's (Fla.) senior Noah Ralby entered the 2014-15 campaign with a first-rate education in the playmaking point guard role.
Beyond watching his older brother Max, once one of South Florida's most prolific point guards and currently playing at NYU, he recalls watching Steve Nash thoroughly dissect defenses during his Phoenix Suns heyday.
Ralby was a middle school runt when Nash helped resurrect the Suns, earning back-to-back MVPs in the process. Ralby recalls studying the pocket passes and the pick-and-rolls, enamored with the crafty Nash's ability to shred defenders off the bounce.
As much as he embraced the role of knock down shooter, seizing the space to get his shot off, the dish-first Ralby has always prided himself on bettering his teammates.
He went to work at his handle, shot creation, finding his teammates on a variety of reads, preparing himself for vital leadership aspects that parallel one's senior season..  
Well-schooled in the veteran leadership department, Ralby was quick to heap praise on a pair of tight-knit senior classes from the past two seasons.

Soaking up vital lessons from the past while finding his own locker room voice, Ralby became instrumental in the most pivotal leadership compartments.
The onus was on him to rally the team and set the tone in the huddle. Ralby was tasked with the chore of leading by action, commandeering the ball handling duties and turning the opponent over, sparking transition leak-outs.
Ralby most notably seized the leadership reins against King's Academy, scoring 30 points, tearing down six rebounds, and kicking in six assists.
St. Andrew's influx of of bigs, four of whom are 6-foot-8 or taller, allowed Ralby to facilitate the inside-outside game while engineering a sped-up transition attack.

Though the sudden uptick of interior presences shut off the driving lanes to a degree, Ralby seized the shooting space to his advantage. Packing some range onto his beyond-the-arc game certainly helped.
"I went to a lot of recruiting camps over the summer and that really gave me some perspective," said Ralby, who will prolong his career at Johns Hopkins University.
"Of course, I had the luxury of  being able to learn from a number of seniors who came before me. I was able to apply all of the learning experiences and the know-how I picked up from those guys."
He also picked up a steadfast 12-month devotion to the game.
Pushing Ralby's development has been Yogev Berdugo, the head honcho of Step It Up Basketball.
"He brings an intensity and an emotion that just makes you go as hard as possible," said Ralby of Berdugo.
"When I first went to (Bergudo) it was my freshman year, after my J.V. season and I could barely make it through his workouts. I'll be handling the ball and he'll be guarding me as tough as possible, slapping my wrists until they're red as can be. He's helped me with ball-handling, shooting, and my athleticism as well. What he's really instilled in me is a mental toughness and also a physical toughness as well."

He continued, "I owe a lot of my progression to Yogev's training and Step It Up."
With 5AM workouts and a new commitment to making fitness a lifestyle, Ralby is readied for the rigors of the NCAA experience.

While Hopkins' prestigious academics held the considerable weight in Ralby's decision, the opportunity to earn meaningful minutes from the get-go was an influential factor.
"They graduate four guys this year and then six guys next year, so I'm excited about the opportunity to contribute immediately," Ralby explained.
"Prior to the summer I e-mailed maybe 15-20 schools. Coach (Bill) Nelson saw me at the showcase at Brandeis. I take pride in the fact that this is one of the best schools in the country academically."