Rio fulfills Prater’s dream
SOUTH POINT — Ethan Prater is proof that dreams can come true.
Ever since he was a small boy, Prater hoped to play at the college level. That dream became a reality when he signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball for the University of Rio Grande RedStorm.
“It’s like a dream,” said Prater. “Since I was in grade school I thought it would be great to play a college sport. It’s amazing. It’s exciting.”
Part of the dream was to play along side his friend and teammate Cody Taylor who also signed with the RedStorm.
The two played on the same teams even in grade school and were coached by their fathers, Greg Prater and Randy Taylor.
Prater said he looked at Alderson-Broaddus and Alice Lloyd colleges, but at the urging of Taylor he visited Rio Grande.
“I visited and played with the team and it changed my mind. It was the perfect size. I liked the guys I played against and I knew it was the place to go. It changed my mind when I went there,” said Prater.
While Prater found Rio Grande to be the right place for him, the coaching staff thought he was a perfect fit for their program that is now a member of the Mid-South Conference.
“We like both Ethan and Cody. We like the way they play hard. They do whatever is asked of them. We think they’ll play for us,” said Rio Grande assistant coach Ryan Arrowood.
A three-year starter, the 6-foot-4 Prater was a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection and was special mention on the Association Press Div. III All-District team and honorable mention with the District 13 Basketball Coaches Association.
Prater averaged 14.4 points and 9.0 rebounds a game.
“I’ll play a small forward or a power forward. I just have to work hard and get better. It’s going to be like being a freshman in high school all over again,” said Prater.
“I’ll have to get my strength shoes back on and be in tip-top shape to play, but I know I can play there.”