Posted On: 04/25/18 11:13 AM
Being underrated has done nothing but motivate Marcus Riley Jr.
The 6-foot-6 Melvindale forward averaged 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals per game as a junior, but he believes he can improve those numbers heading into his senior season. With a good AAU season and strong summer, Riley could average a double-double next year.
The strengths of Riley’s game are defense, hustle and finishing around the rim. He is arguably the best rim protector in the Downriver League, and his presence inside makes it very hard for opposing teams to get anything easy around the rim.
“I am an energetic hustler on the court, I am a defensive minded person and I pride myself on defense,” Riley Jr. said. “I want to make it as hard as possible for the person that I am checking to score on me. I am working a lot more on my offense now, and I want to be a complete player when I get to the next level.”
Riley likes to mold his play after Ben Wallace and that is exactly the type of player that he is. He can score when he needs to, but his defense is what sets him apart from other players. He is going to block shots and make opponents fear coming into the lane.
His aggressive style of play has a couple of schools showing interest. Gordon College and Montclair University have been looking at Riley. At the moment, Riley doesn’t hold any offers, but he would like to go to a school that will help him excel as a student-athlete.
“The thing I want college coaches to know about me is that I am a hard worker and I will always give 100 percent effort in everything I do, especially on the court,” Riley said. “I always listen to my coaches and teachers, and I wont give up until I am a successful person in life and in the classroom.”
In terms of goals, Riley wants to earn a college degree and make his family proud, while chasing his dream of reaching the NBA. His defensive ability and improved offensive game will get him to the next level. However, his heart and hustle will make him a standout wherever he ends up.
“I want to make all league, win districts and graduate with honors at my high school,” Riley said. “I want everyone to recognize Melvindale High School as one of the best schools in the country on the hardwood. I want to set the standards and be the one who does that for my school. I want to make some noise in the state playoffs this year and go as far as we can go. I am also setting a goal for myself to get a double-double in every game. I have a younger brother that starts on varsity alongside me and he helps me a lot, so I want to guide him and show him what it takes to be successful on and off the court.
Check out his highlights here: