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Posted On: 06/14/18 3:00 PM
You may have heard that Oregon’s Class of 2021 is loaded and Nathan Rawlings-Kibonge is a big reason why. The skilled 6-foot-7, 235-pound big man from Jefferson High School is already creating a buzz with his play this summer with Nike Team Northwest’s 15U squad and he’s already got goals for next year and beyond.
Rawlings-Kibonge recently suited up for the Rose City Rebels in the Rose City Showcase to help them out down low against the taller and more athletic Northwest Panthers. Late in the game, he had a couple of key buckets in the Rebels impressive comeback. This was all coming off a spring on the EYBL 15U circuit with Nike Team Northwest that while successful – he led the team in scoring, rebounding, and assists – was a bit different than he originally expected.
“My brother, Jalen Adams, unfortunately broke his leg so it was a litle frustrating,” Rawlings-Kibonge said. “He’s the dude that gets me the ball so I missed him a lot. But it was fun and I think I did good. And without him on the floor I felt like I became more like a leader. I was playing defense, working hard, and staying out of foul trouble.”
You could say it’s a bit early when it comes to college recruitment with Rawlings-Kibonge. But don’t think he hasn’t already been thinking about it. “Miami would be my dream, I would love to go to Miami,” Rawlings-Kibonge said. “Pepperdine has called and that’s cool and is a really good opportunity. But I just want to go D-I. I don’t have to go to my dream school, I just have to go D-I.”
There will definitely be the opportunity for Rawlings-Kibonge if he keeps on improving – something that is most certainly his short-term goal. “Just get better,” Rawlings said. “Get more rest, get better, and become a real big force in Oregon. I feel like I can be one of the best big men in the state right now even as a sophomore. That’s my goal.”