Photo courtesy of Dave’s Joint.
By David Cordova
This season, Bergen Catholic has been one of the best teams in the state of New Jersey, as they now have an 11-2 record on the season. One of the key catalysts to the Crusaders’ success is a small point guard that is making a name for himself in the Garden State.
Will Richardson is his name and flash and quickness is his game. The 6-foot-1 sophomore point guard is a smart player that will make the big play and always do what is necessary for his squad to win. On New Year’s Day, January 1st, Richardson finished with 31 points & seven assists and led the Crusaders to a 69-67 win over St. Raymond of The Bronx.
“Never have doubt,” said Richardson, “You just keep playing until the buzzer goes off.”
When asked about the strengths and weaknesses in his game, he replied, “My strengths [are], I’m a hard worker, I come out, I compete, and offensively, I’m a great scorer, and all that. My weakness is I’ve got to get stronger and I’ve got to get better on the defensive end.”
From a young age, he played plenty of sports, but basketball became the calling for him when he was in the fifth grade. Richardson, who hails from Teaneck, comes from a town that has plenty of talented players and sports history.
“In Teaneck, you’ve got a lot of great players who came out – Ja’Quaye James, Leondre Washington, Shaakir Lindsey, and it’s a big culture in my town of Teaneck,” he said about the basketball culture in his area.
Unlike the three players he mentioned, instead of following in the lineage of great players that went to the local public high school, Teaneck High, off of the highway of Route 4, Richardson decided to blaze his own trail and went off to Bergen Catholic, a major powerhouse in the Garden State in all sports, which is located in Oradell, New Jersey, which is at least five miles away from his hometown.
When asked about what made him decide to play for & attend one of the most prominent schools in Bergen County, he replied, “I mean, it was just a different culture here, Billy Armstrong is a great coach, it was just I wanted to be a part of this family, and I think it was the right choice.”
As a freshman last season on a loaded Crusaders squad, he averaged 7.6 points and was a contributor to a state championship team that went all the way to the Tournament of Champions final at Rutgers University, where they lost to the then nationally-ranked Ranney School.
On his varsity experience as a freshman, he replied, “The TOC experience as a freshman, it was a great experience, I learned a lot from the seniors, Doug Edert, who’s at Saint Peter’s, Zach Freemantle, who’s at Xavier, they taught me a lot as a freshman. So coming in this year, I have a chip on my shoulder.
This season, Richardson is off to a great start as he averaging 18.3 points per game and has stepped up tremendously in a bigger role. This spring and summer, he will be playing for the Pro Scholars Athletics Cardinals, a New York-based program that plays on the Nike EYBL circuit, where he has been playing for the last couple of years.
When asked about playing for PSA, he replied, “They’ve done a lot for me, they’ve put me on the highest level of basketball in the Nike circuit, and they taught me a lot as a point guard, but also as a combo guard.”
Now that he has time on his hands, you can expect a lot more from Will Richardson. Pretty soon, college coaches will be at practices & games, hoping to land his services. Time is on his side.
When asked about what can be expected of him this season and beyond, he replied, “You can expect for me to come out and play my hardest every game. Just got to keep playing, keep working hard, there’s no future, you’ve go to just keep focusing on day-by-day.”