This year for Clay Magazine’s Sports News Columnist, we have the privilege of meeting Gabe Ratcliffe.
Gabe is 15 years old and is going into 9th grade. He and his family, two older brothers and his mom and dad, live in northern Virginia. Gabe’s dad is a professional back cracker: a chiropractor. Gabe’s family is also Armenian, not the denomination—the ethnicity, so he relishes a chance to visit the country where most of his roots lie. Additionally, Gabe and Co. take regular family vacations to Chincoteague Island—famous for its wild ponies. Among the various trips and hobbies Gabe enjoys, his main obsession is basketball.
For Gabe and many other people like him, basketball is not only a recreational pursuit, but also a way to connect with others. Gabe plays basketball as much as possible on his own but also with his travel team: the Pioneers. A travel team is a highly competitive, skilled team which, evidently, travels to places all over the state to compete. The fact that Gabe in on such a team is a testament to his athletic skill and love of the game. Since he is 6’2”, he can play anywhere and everywhere on the court. In addition to playing, Gabe also discusses stats and news with basketball enthusiasts around the world through the iPhone app, Hardwood Amino. This app fuels him with ideas for his column, as well as enabling him to experience serious sports analytics. Gabe is not only a devoted basketball player but also learned Tae-Kwon-Doe for many years. However, he stopped because he wanted to progress faster in Boy Scouts. Gabe is close to becoming an Eagle Scout—the highest ‘rank’ or level for a boy scout. If you ever contact him, I’m sure he’d be happy to send you some popcorn. In the future, Gabe hopes to work for the State Department as some kind of ambassador to China—after all, he has studied Chinese for several years.
Make sure you check out his article regularly to hear about the exciting upcoming sports news.