Louisville Trinity power forward Raymond Spalding has been committed to Louisville for less than a week, but things have started changing quickly for the four-star prospect. Playing in the AAU Nationals at the Kentucky Fairground this week, Spalding's first two games have been well attended by Cardinal fans.
The 6-foot-9, 210-pounder led his AAU squad, The Ville, to a pair of easy wins in their first two games of the event, including a 19 point performance on Thursday afternoon.
Here's a Q & A with Spalding following his first games as a Louisville commitment.
How have things changed for you since your commitment?
“It's changed in a positive way. My fans, my hometown family, my away family, it's great having all the love that I'm getting.”
Many kids in this area dream that they are playing for Louisville while playing basketball. What is it like being a hometown kid that actually does get to play for U of L?
“It really is a blessing. It's an honor to be accepted into the Louisville family and being loved by your community and peers.”
Have you always been a Louisville fan?
Why make the commitment when you did?
“I just felt that it was the time to do it. Being able to play in Nationals in Louisville and fans come out and watch is a great honor. My family doesn't get to come to most of my games so being able to go Louisville they will get to come to a lot of my games.”
You seemed unsure last week. Did something change?
“I made decision on Sunday. I was going to do it last weekend but I didn't get the time to sit down and talk about it with my mother and grandmother. I really talk to those ladies about everything. When I got back from [Peach State] I got to sit down and talk to them and we decided that it was time to make the decision. I was always thinking about going to Louisville, so it was time.
What was that drive back like for you? You had a long time to think about it.
"Seven hours gave me plenty of time to make a decision. I talked to my mother and grandmother on the way home. It was great."
What was their reaction when you told them about the offer from Louisville?
“They loved it. It kind of put a tear in my eye because she was so proud of me. My whole family is proud of me. It feels great.”
Is there a player that you have modeled your game after?
“Rudy Gay who played for Connecticut. I like how smooth he is and how he is on and off the court.”
What was the coaching staff response when you committed?
“I didn't get to talk to Coach Pitino when I committed because he was on a plane, so I let Coach Johnson know and he was pretty excited about it and very pleased about my decision. We talked for awhile and he's a great guy. I texted with Coach Pitino and he was really excited, too.”
Have you had the opportunity to meet your future teammate Deng Adel?
“I haven't had an opportunity to yet, but I heard he is a really good kid and a tremendous basketball player.”
What are your goals for your senior year at Trinity?
"Really to win state. Of course, graduate from high school, that's the big one. Develop great relationships with the guys at Trinity. They are great guys there."
Now that you've committed, are there things the Louisville coaching staff has asked you to work on?
"They want me to work on playing hard, being competitive and going to the gym every day, both in the weight room and basketball."