Thirteen-year-old Raekwon Long is aptly named because he already stands 6-foot-10 and weighs 240 pounds.
He will enter seventh grade this fall at Davidson Day School (Davidson, N.C.).
His immense size at such a young age conjures images of Ralph Sampson, three-time National College Player of the Year, who grew to 7-4. However, his nickname was “Stick” and his NBA weight was listed at less than 230 pounds. Sampson was 6-7 as a ninth grader.
“Doctors say he’s got the potential to be 7-5 or 7-6,” according to Corey Baker, head coach of his QCAA AAU team from Charlotte, N.C.
The towering youngster already wears a size 21 shoe.
Long, who dunked on a 10-foot basket as a sixth grader, says his chief assets are “rebounding and blocking shots. One time I blocked a shot with force so hard that it knocked him down.”
Baker admitted that Long, playing his first year of AAU basketball, has very raw skills, but he “works really hard and is getting better every day. He’s a factor in every game defensively.”
In his first year he averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks. He blocked 15 shots in a single game and fouled out just once this summer.
Baker noted that he and assistant coach Keith Ison “spend a lot of time with him away from basketball. He’s getting to be a better student.”
Long says the biggest problem in his current development is footwork. He also needs to polish his skyhook.
His eventual high school destination is uncertain at this time, but he gave a long-distance hint about his college future.
“I love (the University of) Florida,” he said. “They work hard and hustle. Billy Donovan (head coach) is a friend on my Facebook. I have about 100 friends”
As he continues to grow, his list of “friends” also will be growing during the next few years.