Marable to play for UNC-Pembroke

Published 1:45 pm Friday, August 1, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Just like his long jump shots, Raphael Marable has finally hit home. The Southside High School graduate has concluded his extended search for a school that offers the perfect mix of educational and basketball opportunities, and has accepted a scholarship to play for the UNC-Pembroke Braves.
Marable, who graduated Southside in 2006, averaged 26.6 points per game his senior year with the Seahawks, and was on the first team WDN All-Area squad, and the second team All-State team.
After graduation, the sharp-shooting guard took his jumper to West Carolina University, where he was offered a chance to make the team as a walk on. That’s where things got rocky for the smooth shooter.
Marable made the team, but decided to quit shortly after, saying that he and the coach did not get along.
Marable finished the year at Western Carolina, where he majored in rec management, and made the dean’s list.
The next year, Marable enrolled at East Carolina University, and took a year off from playing organized basketball.
Marable took a pause from hoisting jumpers and, instead, opted to hold down a 40-hour per week job at a lumberyard, and still managed to maintain a 3.0 GPA at ECU.
Marable’s time at ECU wasn’t all work and no play as the guard managed to refine his basketball skills and work with a personal trainer.
The former Southside star also hooked up with a former Pam Pack great for some weight lifting.
The hard work paid off for Marable, as he was able to catch some eyes playing in AAU-type basketball games. One person who was impressed with his game was N.C. State assistant coach Pete Strickland, who offered Marable a chance to try and walk-on with the Wolfpack. However, Marable declined, and opted to try an earn a scholarship elsewhere.
Credit Strickland with an assist.
After two years of searching for the right school, Marable believes he found the right one in UNC-Pembroke.
Marable said he is excited to be playing for Miller, and who wouldn’t be? Miller has been coaching at the college level for 18 years. Prior to taking over at UNC-Pembroke, Miller spent four years with Missouri State, where he went 80-49 and made three NIT appearances.
Miller has also learned from some of the game’s brightest during his nine-year tenure as an assistant coach with the Jayhawks, where he helped guide them to two Final Four appearances.
Marable said what makes Miller so special is his dedication to his players.
Marable also said he likes Miller’s system.
The 6-0, 180 Marable said Miller plans on playing him at both the point and shooting guard positions, and that he enjoys both roles.
Miller said he expects more from Marable besides dishing and swishing, and told him he wants to see him become a leader.
The Marable and Miller era will begin Nov. 8, when the Braves battle the Tar Heels.