Ray J finds the Gold! Mart inks with Xavier University of Louisiana

Surviving the test of time: Chauvin Brothers going strong since 1870s
April 18, 2017
I’m voting YES and YES
April 18, 2017
Surviving the test of time: Chauvin Brothers going strong since 1870s
April 18, 2017
I’m voting YES and YES
April 18, 2017

One of the Houma-Thibodaux area’s top prep basketball talents struck gold this week – literally.

H.L. Bourgeois senior standout guard Rayshawn Mart announced that he has signed a college scholarship to play for the Xavier University of Louisiana Gold Rush – a NAIA program based out of New Orleans.

Mart, a 6-foot, 2-inch guard, earned his place at the next level after averaging 17 points per game for the Braves this past season.

He said being a member of the Gold Rush is something he couldn’t put into words. He said to have a place to play for the next four years is a dream come true.

Mart held a ceremony on campus last week, and Xavier’s coaches attended to show their support for their new guard.

“It feels really great,” Mart said of his decision to play at Xavier. “It’s a blessing to be able to further my basketball career. My high school career will truly be missed. I’ve been blessed to play for one of the best coaching staffs you can ask for. I’ve had a group of coaches that want the best for you and tell you right from wrong no matter the situation, and I’ve learned from them how it feels to actually play with a family. Now, I’m eager to get stronger, keep up with the pace of the game and take my talents to the next level.”

Xavier is getting one heck of a player, and their coach said they know it.

Mart had a solid senior season for the Braves, helping lead H.L. Bourgeois to a District 7-5A Championship. The Braves made the second round of the Class 5A State Playoffs then were upset by Helen Cox.

He burst onto the scene last season as a junior, averaging 13 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game for a Braves team that reached the Class 5A State Quarterfinals. Mart also has posted several strong summers on the AAU circuit, playing for the LT Rockets, helping the team earn two-straight state championships.

Xavier coach Alfred Williams said he loved Mart’s versatility, adding that his ability to affect the game in several different ways is one of the biggest reasons why they chose to recruit the Braves’ standout.

Mart said Xavier’s coaches watched him a few times during his career, and he visited the school’s New Orleans-based campus a few times during his recruitment.

At the end of the day, Mart said he chose the Gold Rush, because their locker room felt like home – much in the same way that the H.L. Bourgeois locker room has over the past several seasons.

Mart will be the second Terrebonne Parish-based player to ink with Xavier in the past few seasons.

The Gold Rush currently have former Ellender star Leland Alexander on their roster. Alexander just completed his sophomore season for Xavier. The former Patriots star averaged 6.4 points per game for Xavier last season, playing all 30 games, including 17 starts.

“It’s great to have Rayshawn in the Gold Rush family,” Xavier head basketball coach Alfred Williams said. “He’s a talented young man. In addition to his offensive skills, he has long arms, big hands and plays excellent defense.”

Now, Mart said his focus is on putting together a dominant summer of work so he can arrive on Xavier’s campus ready to compete for some freshman playing time.

Mart said he plans to work out in the weight room to add muscle to his frame so he can better absorb contact at the next level.

From there, he said he wants to shoot hundreds and hundreds of jump shots a day so he can improve his shooting range – especially from behind the 3-point line.

Mart said he’s not afraid to work hard, and he plans to do a lot of that before moving to New Orleans.

One place where Mart will not need to do any work before college is in the classroom. The Braves senior is a full academic qualifier, owning a 3.5 GPA.

“I just want to keep on progressing,” he said. “I want to maximize my potential and be the best that I can be. Overall, my goal is to be the best that I can be. My goal is to better my team and make everyone around me better, while I’m blessed to play at the next level.”

Braves coach Andrew Caillouet said he has no doubt that Mart can do all of those things and more.

He said countless times throughout the season that Mart is a quality player, but also a top-notch kid.

During an interview in the middle of the season, Caillouet said the Braves have had success in the past few years because of their leadership ability, quickly adding that Mart was among that group of leaders.

“He’s a really, really good player. He does a lot to make us go,” Caillouet said. “But the kids look up to him off the floor, and he has an impact on our locker room. He’s been a great player for us. He is a guy that provides what you’d hope your senior leaders can provide.” •

Rayshawn Mart

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