Hoops phenom: Rasir Bolton’s hard work draws early college interest

Genetics can play an important role in athletic ability. It’s been suggested that genetics can limit abilities, but they can also put someone at a predisposition to be a great athlete. That would appear to be the case for Rasir Bolton, an eighth-grader at Life Christian Academy (LCA) in Chester. The standout is using both his genetics and basketball skills to his advantage, averaging 24 points per game at the high school level in 2013-2014, drawing early college interest.

“It’s a very athletic family,” stated LCA Head Coach Ray Bolton. “I picked (my wife) well.”

Ray Bolton, a 1995 graduate of Matoaca, played basketball, earning a scholarship to play at Bethune Cookman before an injury had him finish his degree at Virginia State. Mother Chalonda Bolton, a 1994 graduate of Matoaca, was a standout in track and field in high school.

Going further back, family members on his mother’s side of the family were college athletes and Rasir’s great uncle Harold Jefferson, class of 1976, – Matoaca’s all-time leading basketball scorer with 2,147 points. After transferring to Virginia State University from Johnson C. Smith University, Jefferson’s basketball career was suddenly cut short at age 19 when he passed away in a car accident.

Ray and Chalonda have two sons- Rasir and Resean. Resean is currently a senior for Petersburg after transferring from Matoaca and had 15 points for the Crimson Wave in a 84-67 victory over the Warriors last Friday.

As one could imagine, competition in the Bolton household is at an all-time high. If both teams win their first round games in the Fort Lee holiday tournament, Petersburg would face LCA.
“It’s intense,” said Ray Bolton. “Everything from throwing socks in the hamper to imaginary basketball on the wall.”

Rasir has started to make a name for himself very early – playing basketball since the age of three and AAU hoops since the age of seven. The eighth-grader has always played against older kids, from AAU to neighborhood basketball with his brother.

“He’s a hard worker,” stated Ray Bolton. “Every morning in the gym he gets up 500-600 shots and he’s just played a lot of basketball.”

With exposure through AAU (Team Loaded), schools such as ODU and VCU have already taken interest in Rasir Bolton, and the point guard has played in front of Indiana head coach Tom Crean, as well as many other Division I coaches.

“It’s been fun going on visits,” stated Rasir Bolton.

Despite the early recruiting attention, Rasir has remained focus, maintaining all A’s and B’s in the classroom while putting in extra work in the gym and weight room. The youngest Bolton also volunteers his time to help feed the homeless and helps other charitable organizations.

“A lot of people talk about my size, (5-10) but I know I have to get in the weight room and work hard,” Rasir Bolton explained.

Being young and undersized, Bolton does take teams by surprise sometimes.

“I guess it’s the baby face, and the fact that he’s not the biggest kid in the world yet,” said Ray Bolton.

Former Community High School head coach Toby Campbell was initially the head coach to start the season for Life Christian, but has since stepped down due to a medical issues. This opened the door for Ray Bolton’s first head coaching position.

“I want to help build a culture of excellence here at LCA,” stated Ray Bolton. “Since this is a Christian environment, we focus on building character in our students.”

LCA is 4-3 as of press time this season and will face Greenbrier Christian Thursday at home at 6:30 p.m. Follow along on twitter@VNewsSports.

Comments

The Bolten Family

I have had the pleasure of coaching both Rasir and Resean at Matoaca Middle. In addition, Coach Bolton assisted me there. They truly are great people on and off the court. I look forward to seeing all of them go on to do bigger and better things.

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