When I think of Rakeem Christmas, not too much comes to mind.
He's got the fauxhawk, which is the latest in a long line of great hair choices by Syracuse Orange basketball players.
He seems like a funny dude on Twitter and takes good behind-the-scenes photos.
But I can't say I have much of an opinion on Christmas overall. On the court, he still seems to be a work-in-progress, the latest Syracuse center destined to make "The Leap" one of these seasons and blossom into a Big East Defensive Player of the Year. In a way he's a reminder of how things "are supposed" to be. It's "supposed" to take 3-4 years for these guys to develop. They're not "supposed" to all go pro by sophomore year and there's something wrong with them if they don't.
While we ponder whether or not Michael Carter-Williams will follow that path (he will), we can be fairly sure Rak is here for another year, at least. And so we've got some time to get to know him better.
Donna Ditota helps us out today with a profile piece on the holiday-themed big man. What drives this laid-back SU star and what makes him the kind of guy you want to root for?
Christmas is a sophomore forward at Syracuse now, the latest destination in a journey that spans three states and the Virgin Islands. How he got here is a remarkable story of a family’s determination to raise a child and how that child’s startling size and athletic ability brought him to America. His island upbringing might also explain Christmas’ carefree court persona and the daily basketball battles he wages with himself to infuse his play with intensity.
Give it a read to find out about Christmas' youth in St. Croix before coming to America to live with his 22-year-old college student aunt in Philadelphia and developing a desire to play basketball even if baseball was his first love.
Also nice to hear that you can thank Trevor Cooney for getting Christmas to come to SU. See, you like Trevor.