Often times a player may comes out of nowhere and shine brightly. They don’t have a big reputation and then one day they are the toast of the town. That is exactly what happen to Rylee Drahos two years ago. She was a star that seemed to just drop out of the sky. She had a dream freshman season at Shore Reg High School. She was so good that many believed she should have won the Freshman of The Year Award. Instead she had to settle for being named First Team All Freshman in the Shore. And everyone knows that when a kid becomes All Freshman, they are a future D1 lock… It appeared that the sky was the limit for Rylee Drahos. That is until Covid came along and changed everything..
This spring Coach John Truhan and I were talking about his Belles 2023 AAU team. He talked about all the young talent that was on his team. It was then that I said to Coach Truhan “it’s sad what has happen to some of your kids, they were so good two years ago.” I told him that Covid had really affected the entire 2023 class. A class that seemed to be destined for greatness only to have covid enter their lives. It was then JT said something to me most would find cocky. If you know JT was not meant to be cocky. You see coach Truhan believes in kids perhaps more than any coach I know. It’s why he said these words to me “Tiny, I am going to bring them back and make them all relevant again.” I perked up. Now you have to understand nobody in high school basketball boys or girls, is better at turning arounds players or programs…NOBODY! But when Coach Truhan aka “the Bill Parcell’s of basketball told me this” . I have to be honest, I thought he was taking a step too far and maybe he was believing just a little big too much. I really felt that ship had passed for once of his kids. I had not seem most of the TURHAN Belles players in the gym in over a year. I honestly felt his kids had lost they way and the desire. It’s not uncommon in girls basketball. Kids simply find other things to do or stop developing. But JT also said something else to me I will never forget and right now he is proving once again why he is one of the best ever… He said “Tiny Covid has affected Rylee Drahos more than any kid I know, but when I am done with her this summer. You will once again be calling her one of the best in the 2023 class. I am bringing her back”. Those people, were his exact words!!!…Well college coaches guess what? Rylee Drahos is once again one of the best 2023’s in New Jersey again. Her performance in the early live period was one for the books..she was as good as John Truhan said she would be and better!👏👏💪
You know the term out of sight, out of mind? Well in the case of Rylee Drahos nothing could be more true. Last season Rylee Drahos played all of 12 high school basketball games, 12 uneventful games. Rylee Drahos, went from the best returning freshman in the Shore conference to a total ghost. It was not long before coaches would stop asking about her. Rylee Drahos was a player who was mentioned in the same breathe as some of the very best in her class. But now it seemed nobody knew what was going on with Rylee Drahos. I personally didn’t see her for over a year. I had asked around about her a few times and nobody seemed to know where or what she was doing. That is except her high school coach, who continued to sign her praises.
You see Rylee Drahos is that kid who in most cases ends up at RBC, SJV, Rutgers Prep or a St. Rose. Instead she did something few kids do. She decided to play for her local high school team at Shore Reg. It appeared, it was the best move she ever made. Because she did things as a freshman that nobody could have predicted, while playing vs some of the best competition girls basketball has to offer. It seemed Rylee Drahos was getting ready to live the dream. Anyone who saw she and her teammates play had to be impressed. This past season everyone was expecting big things from Rylee and Shore Reg. It was only natural to expect Rylee and her teammates to take the next big step. But covid tired to rob all that this past year. If the truth be told Covid had looked like it at won. Shore Reg really never got its chance and Rylee Drahos became a afterthought. But Covid met its match in Coach Truhan. Because this AAU season John Truhan simply would not let Covid stop Rylee Drahos or his other group of forgotten sars from becoming old news…Rylee would become a star again and Coach Truhan was having it no other way🤩
JT called me in early spring and said ” Rylee Drahos is back Tiny”. I said “well get her to NBS or to Hoop Group.” But JT said “She will get back there don’t worry, just keep your eye on her, that’s all I ask”. It was then Coach Truhan started sending me updates on his entire team. He started to explain to me, his kids were coming out of the covid cloud. He said his team is going to surprise everyone. After every tournament he gave me a update on his team of forgotten stars. A group that many had stop believing could be special again. But Coach Truhan made a great bet in believing in his team because he now has 4 division one players on his team. A team that started with players once thought to be D1 locks only to lose their status along the way but are now looking every bit like D1 players that many once thought they would be. Rylee Drahos, just may be the biggest story of them all. Last weekend in Atlantic City she looked like that dream recruit she was two years ago before Covid. She simply was the best player in the gym and she looked like a kid who was unstoppable. She looked like that player who took it to those Top 10 programs she faced two years ago and dominated just as a freshman. She looked like a player on a mission…
There is a old saying that says “size matters”. It’s the one thing coaches live and die for these days. But when you have size, length, skills, shooting ability and raw talent appears to drip like the sweat out of a player….. You get special…. You get Rylee Drahos!!! Last weekend watching Drahos bang out three’s, get to the rim, rebound in traffic and handle the ball. Made me realize that she is not only back but she might be better than ever. How good was Rylee Drahos last weekend you ask? I say to all those division one schools out there. Rylee Drahos better be on your must see list. Because what I saw last week was a rebirth of greatness. A kid who has taken their game to a new level. A kid that you simply cannot ignore because the talent is so big and the game so electric. Rylee Drahos just looks different than everyone on the court. These days Rylee Drahos is looking like a future All Shore player…All I have to say is this….WELCOME BACK MISS DRAHOS … you have returned with VENGEANCE!