Siloam Springs, Ark. (November 24, 2008) - Coleson Rakestraw, the 2008 Class 5A State Tournament Most Valuable Player from Siloam Springs High School, has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for John Brown University next fall.
In front of a large crowd at Siloam’s Panther Arena, John Brown University head coach Clark Sheehy said that there were three things he saw in Rakestraw that sparked his interest in the local talent.
“First of all, Coleson is a great player,” said Sheehy. “Secondly he’s a really good student, and most importantly, he’s a great person.”
Rakestraw, who holds a 4.0 GPA at Siloam Springs, averaged 21.7 points and made 109 three pointers last season to lead the Panthers to their first ever state title in boys basketball. He was also named the Benton County Daily Record Player of the Year.
After such a successful season, Rakestraw received interest from several other universities including NCAA Division I schools such as the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Brown (R.I.) in the Ivy League, Lehigh (Pa.) in the Patriot League, and NAIA Division I Biola (Calif.), which is where his older brother Nate transferred after playing for the Razorbacks last season.
The 6-3 Rakestraw said that each school had pros and cons, but added that he chose JBU because it seemed like the right place for him.
“I took visits to all of the schools, but I just liked JBU more,” said Rakestraw. “And I just think it’s a great place for me to go.”
“We’ve had a lot of conversations about the process,” added Siloam Springs head coach Jason McMahan. “The best question I ever asked him is ‘What’s important to you?’. And I just advised him to choose somewhere where he trusted the coach, liked the players, and felt good about the school academically.”
Coach Sheehy added that, overall, Rakestraw was one of the top shooters he came across during the recruiting process and knows he’ll bring a lot to the table for the JBU program.
“We’re excited about the addition to the team and can’t wait to get him in there with us,” said Sheehy.
Coleson is the son of P.D. and Jan Rakestraw, and also has a sister, Emery.