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After beginning his career at Indiana State, Wake Forest junior Jake LaRavia had an outstanding debut season with the Demon Deacons. Picking up All-ACC second-team honors after averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.7 steals a game, the all-around play of LaRavia has garnered praise from scouts throughout the NBA. After declaring for the NBA draft, Jake now is preparing for Thursday, June 23rd, when he hopes to hear his name called in the 2022 NBA Draft. A 1st round pick in a number of mock drafts, Jake says that he just hopes his time in the league points others to Jesus.

Photo Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics
Growing up in Indianapolis, Jake says faith was always a part of his life. As he got older, however, and began looking towards his college years he says he noticed something was missing.

“I grew up in a very Christian family and I was all about it in my younger days, but when high school came around I began to fall off and stopped doing the things I know I should have been.”

Jake says things continued to stay that way during his freshman year at Indiana State, where he says he was living the wrong way. It was in his 2nd season, however, when everything shifted.

“I decided to change my ways. I began to read and pray again and even started a Bible study on Wednesday and Sunday with the team trying to get them involved. And since then I’ve continued to use my platform as a place to show others who God is.”

After an outstanding career with Indiana State, Jake decided to transfer to Wake Forest. After just 1 year with the Demon Deacons, Jake made an impact both on and off the court. He says that when he plays the game, faith is what helps keep him grounded throughout every moment.

“Faith plays the biggest role in my basketball career. What I do revolves around the skills and talent God has given me and I play the game to give back to Him and to be able to use basketball as a platform to show other people who God is as well.”

Photo Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics
Jake says now with the chance to play at the highest level in the NBA, he hopes to continue to use his gifts to play for something greater than himself.

As Jake has risen in the ranks since the end of the season with his performances in front of scouts, many expect to hear his name called in the first round of the upcoming draft. Jake says regardless of where he is picked, he hopes it is the start of a career where he uses every opportunity to bring others to Jesus.

“If I can change one person’s view on God and bring one person closer then I’ll be satisfied, but the end goal is to be able to change a lot of people’s lives. There are a lot of people in this world who are in dark places and they might need a little bit of light to shine on their life.”

Jake says that with the game of basketball, he hopes to be that person.

“I want to be a light in people’s lives.”

As Jake and his family count down the days to the draft, seeing his dreams come true will undoubtedly be a moment Jake will never forget. But with the work just beginning, he hopes he can use his career in the game for something bigger than himself. When people look at him, he says he just hopes that they see Jesus.

 

Ethan Kruse

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