Syracuse sophomore Rakeem Christmas is one win away from college basketball’s biggest stage.
The former Academy of the New Church student has a chance to advance to the Final Four when the Orange tip off against Marquette on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Syracuse beat top-seeded Indiana in a somewhat surprising result to advance to the Elite 8.
During his high school years, Christmas transferred to ANC from North Catholic High School prior to his junior year. He led the Lions to the PAISAA semifinals and averaged 13 points, 7.5 rebounds and three blocks per game in 2009-10, according to Maxpreps.com.
He was named the Pennsylvania Class A Player of the Year in 2010-11 while at ANC. Aside from playing for the Lions, he spent time at the LeBron James Skills Academy, the Nike Global Challenge and the Boost Mobile Elite 24. He was also a McDonald’s All-American.
He was ranked 21 in the class of 2011 by Scout.com.
In Syracuse's last tournament game, Christmas was in foul trouble and only played nine minutes against the Hoosiers. He’s averaging four points per game in three tournament wins.
Christmas started all 38 games for Syracuse during the regular season and averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.