2001-02-17 / Sports

Athlete of the Week: Ray Corrigan

Athlete of the Week: Ray Corrigan

By Emanuel Jalonschi

He’s the guy you build your team around. He’s consistent, hard-working and possesses impeccable fundamentals. He’s Ray Corrigan.

At 6’0", 170 lbs., Ray is what you envision in a "floor general." As a moral leader, he consistently brings a disciplined attitude to the court. As a floor leader, he does, as he would say, "whatever it takes to win. If they need me to score, I’ll score. If they need me to dish it out, I will. Whatever it takes."

Ray started playing and loving the game at the age of four. He immediately fell into basketball. Practicing with religious regularity. The biggest on-court influence in his life, appropriately enough, is his father. He used to go out and play ball with him all day. Mr. Corrigan would win every game but now that Ray is a little older and a little better, things are a little different. "Bad knees" says Ray.

Dedication to the game is always a key to a great career on any level. Ray may be so dedicated that it looks to border on obsession. When he was younger, him and his younger brother Danny (an up and coming freshman at Poly Prep) would be at the playground until dusk. His mother recalls having to "yell at Ray and Danny just to get them inside."

Now that he’s a Senior at Poly Prep (who by the way is ranked third in the state among private schools), he’s the one schooling people. At interview time he was fresh from a game against Horace Mann that Poly Prep won by over ten points. He scored 23 points in the game and is averaging 17 points per game for the season. But he’s not just a scorer. He averages 5.5 assists and 2 steals per game. In his own words, the best way to describe his game is "very fundamental." It’s no surprise that the player he feels most akin to is Jason Kidd. He talks about winning and the road to winning. He talks very little about his own stats. As a matter of fact, at no time during our interview did the topic of his stats come up.

Besides winning, another important thing to Ray is education. When it came time to choose which private high school he was to attend, he chose Poly Prep because of their educational reputation, not their basketball program. Now, however, the program is as strong as it’s ever been. Currently they are undefeated in their league and 17-3, overall. They are first in the city among private schools and they’re ranked eleventh among all high schools in New York City. Next week, behind the leadership of head coach Bill McNally, Poly Prep is headed to the playoffs.

What’s in the future for this bright young star from the Rockaways? Hopefully, a college basketball career. Numerous colleges from all three Divisions, including several Ivy League programs, are currently recruiting him. He will get to choose later on this spring where he will go.

Ultimately, if there was only one word to describe Ray Corrigan it would be: "competitor." He’s willing to accept any role for the sake of winning. "I love to play and I love to win." He’s also undeniably a prime time player. Intelligent and low-key, he’s the guy you trust with the last shot. "When you’ve got the ball and everybody is looking at you," is the part of the game that Ray really loves; crunch time. He’s under the radar but always deadly. Ray Corrigan: stealth assassin.

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