Every good team has a tenacious, selfless player who, oftentimes lingering in the periphery, isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it’s necessary.
North Lincoln senior Christian Ramos, a guard on the Knights’ boys varsity basketball team, possesses a statistical line that shows he has been that player throughout his career as a three-year varsity starter.
Ramos set North Lincoln’s all-time assists and steals records earlier in the season, and is on pace to become the single-season record holder in both those categories.
Ramos broke Travis Cannon’s (2008-2012) all-time record of 185 career assists against Bandys in the consolation game of the Peoples Bank Holiday Clash on Dec. 27 and has 201 career assists through Friday’s 64-42 win over West Lincoln. He broke Gray Brotherton’s (2008-2012) career steals record of 118 against North Gaston on Dec. 7 and has 137 career steals through Friday’s game.
Brotherton, North Lincoln’s all-time scoring leader, and Cannon both drew their opponents’ defensive attention away from Ramos, allowing him to twice score a season-high 21 points in games during the 2011-2012 season.
“I like dishing it and finding the right player to score,” Ramos said. “I’m usually a scorer myself, but having the assists record is nice. Last year I had Gray and Travis, and everyone targeted them. That’s when I was usually open. Now they’re focusing more on me.”
Ramos, at 5-foot-8 and 145 lbs., has also been a threat for the Knights (9-6, 2-3 Southern Piedmont Conference) on offense this year. He’s averaging 10.2 points per game, scored a season-high 18 points in North Lincoln’s 73-69 overtime loss to Highland Tech on Dec. 18 and shoots at just over 40 percent.
North Lincoln head coach Eric King said Ramos was the kind of player every coach likes to have on his team.
“He puts an incredible amount of work in during the off season,” King said. “They were coming in for 6:45 a.m. shooting and then staying after in the afternoon to do conditioning. Him and (senior guard) Hunter Caldwell have been catalysts for us for years. There’s the energy that they provide, and now the leadership that they provide.”
King said Ramos’s ability to pick up 2.5 steals per game this season is a result of a personality and playing style that can sometimes irk North Lincoln’s opponents.
“He’s incredibly aggressive,” King said. “That’s his personality. He’s an ‘in-your-face’ kind of kid. He’s going to be the one who gets on the nerves of the other team’s players. He plays very physically. He’s got great timing and anticipates well and he always wants to be in the middle of it.”
King cited Ramos’s eight season charges, more than the rest of his teammates combined, as an example of his willingness to mix it up with the defense.
“He doesn’t have a lot fear,” King said. “That’s helped him offensively. He doesn’t mind getting on the court and getting dirty.”