If you have ever gotten to your seat at a men’s basketball game a few minutes early, then you’ve seen Ray Gelok practicing with the team before every home game.
The 10-year-old has been sporting the same over-sized Montclair State Basketball T-shirt and hanging around with the team for a little over a year now, beginning under Interim Head Coach Darren Rowe last year and continuing this season under new Head Coach Marlon Sears.
The Clifton native has really made himself an honorary member of the team. Before the game starts, you can catch him rebounding balls for the guys or even playing a little one-on-one with some of his favorite players.
Once the game is underway, he’ll take his seat with the team, participating in time-out meetings and giving advice whenever he feels he should. He also gets a little advice from the players as well. “They encourage me and tell me ‘good job’ and stuff,” Gelok said.
Aaron Williams, a senior on the team, spoke about the time he has spent with Gelok during this past season. Williams then pulled out his homemade player card, explaining that Gelok had made them for the whole team before their game. “We look up to him just as much as he looks up to us,” Williams said. “He benefits us just like we benefit him.”
Gelok plans to stick with the team for as long as he can. However, basketball isn’t the only sport he has on his mind. Gelok’s favorite sport is baseball and he has big plans for himself in the future. Gelok said he wants to play for his favorite team, the New York Yankees, when he grows up. If that doesn’t work out, he’ll settle for being a professional basketball player.