It was a historic season in men's basketball for the Redeemer Royals. Last week, fourth-year guard Rayvon Higdon from Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario was honored by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) at the Nationals Championship. Named Ontario's Player of the Year by the conference, Higdon was commended for his role in putting Redeemer on the basketball landscape. He received an All-Canadian award at the Nationals Banquet held March 15th at Holland College in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Higdon, ranked Top 5 in the conference for points, assists, steals, defensive rebounds, field goals, and free throws, was also a recipient of the CCAA All-Canadian award in the 2015-2016 season. The Redeemer team, led by head coach Jamie Girolametto, made it to the Provincials, a first for the Redeemer Royals.
Rayvon Higdon has been playing basketball as long as he can remember. He began learning competitive basketball through the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, N.Y. Higdon started his degree at a local Christian college but had taken time off and had been out of school for a while. A friend who attended Redeemer invited Higdon to visit.
"I immediately fell in love with Redeemer," said Higdon. "It's a small, tight-knit community."
For Higdon, it was more about returning to school to obtain his degree than playing basketball. Higdon plans to graduate in the spring of 2018 and hopes to become a P.E. teacher and basketball coach. Redeemer is a place where Higdon has been able to really grow in his faith, appreciating how Redeemer scholarship relates faith and spiritual development to all aspects of life, studies and sports included.
"Playing basketball for Redeemer and praying before a game, we remind ourselves that we aren't representing the name on our backs, but the name on the front and who that also represents," said Higdon. "On the road, they know we are Christians so we have to try to not get caught up in the nature of the competition, but remember who we are really playing for."
In the quarter-finals at the Provincials, Redeemer lost to top-ranked Sheridan College but went on to win the consolation championship against Fanshawe College.
"I'm so proud of my team. The beginning of our season was rough but we came together and finished well. We lost to one of the best teams in the country so I don't think that's too bad," said Higdon. "I'm just really happy to be a part of the changing basketball culture at Redeemer."