Rams basketball no longer an afterthought at football-rich Cleveland High
CLAYTON, NC (WNCN) — At a school known for its football, the Cleveland Rams men’s basketball team has emerged from its shadow.
“I love that we’re a good school of football because that’s what drives everything,” Cleveland head basketball coach Justin Batts said. “So if we can try to get to that level, that’s great, but at the end of the day, I want everyone in our program to be successful.”
It took time, but Rams basketball can now be considered a success.
In the school’s 12-year history, the men’s basketball program has had only five winning seasons. But three of them have come in the last three years.
This year’s squad is powered by four seniors who have played together since they were 12 years old.
“Travel ball, we would win tournaments and championships and in AAU. We would win tournaments and championships,” senior center Trey Fields said. “We knew if we stayed together and played together, we would be really good.”
And they are.
The Rams are on an 18-game winning streak and are 22-1 on the year and conference champions. Dominant seasons like this are nothing new at Cleveland High School, but not on the basketball court.
“We see them going to state championship games, deep into the playoffs and we want to do the same this year,” senior point guard Baron Williams explained. “We are not only a football school, we are also a basketball school. We’re winning states this year, not that football stuff.
Who would have thought the conversations in the town of Clayton were coming from the gym and not the grill.