MARYSVILLE — Two games into the season, Marysville-Pilchuck sophomore Raequan Battle is already reaping the benefits of his hard work.
“He’s obviously a very special player,” coach Bary Gould said. “But he has a lot to learn offensively just to complete his game.”
The 6-foot-4 guard scored 24 points in his first game against Sehome, and then followed up with 28 against Lake Stevens.
He credits the team for getting him open, especially junior captain Josiah Gould and freshman Luke Dobler. “They basically run the offense,” Battle said.
Players like Josiah penetrate inside and then pass back out to Battle. Other outside shooters also help free up Battle, Gould said. They set screens, Battle added. He scored a lot of his points from “second chances” afforded by offensive rebounds by other players, he said.
Battle has been coached under Gould since the fourth grade.
“He’s given me all the advice I could have,” Battle said.
Gould said Battle has a lot to work on, but Battle is more than willing to exert himself. He works out at 5 every morning to gain strength and to improve nagging injuries he suffered in football his freshman year. He practices the fundamentals with his mom, Jacqueline, who also played basketball at M-P. She was called a “spark plug” as she was known for her shooting, Battle said. With basketball in his blood, it’s one of the motivations that keeps him playing. His grandpa played for M-P as well.
He’s worked on his game playing AAU for Marysville over the summer. He said AAU is more one-on-one, while high school is more team-based. Battle started playing basketball in the third grade but described himself more as a football player. He got MVP in his first tournament playing for Lummi Youth that year. He knew he had a “God-given” talent at the end of eighth grade; it’s when he learned he could dunk. The adversity he faced fueled his work ethic.
He had some problems at home.
“My mom went through a lot,” Battle said, adding his grandparents have helped him with his struggles.
From Tulalip, he was related to Jaylen Fryberg, the shooter from the 2014 M-P tragedy. “That can be hard,” he said.
His adversities have motivated him to work hard in basketball and in the classroom.
“I keep working for my family,” he said. He loves art but needs to finish core curriculum classes in order to advance, he said.
Focusing has always been an issue for him, but said playing on a team has kept him accountable, even studying at his teammates’ and coach’s house. Sharing a house with three brothers, his mom and an uncle can be a little distracting, he said. He’s given some thought of continuing basketball in college, but he’ll need to focus in the classroom as well on the court if he goes that route, he said.