South River PG Becomes 3rd from School to Make College Commitment
South River’s Zac Rafano, shown right defending against North Brunswick’s Jahbree Fitzpatrick in a GMC Crossover on January 28th, recently announced his intentions to attend Curry College in Massachusetts in the fall.
SOUTH RIVER, NJ—In addition to Derrick Whitaker and Joey Nigro committing to play for FDU-Florham next season, South River has another player from its solid class of seniors that is going to play college hoops next year. GMC Hoops recently learned that point guard, Zac Rafano is also moving on to the next level to play at Curry College in Milton Massachusetts.
Curry College is an NCAA Division 3 school that competes in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the likes of Williams College, Nichols, Gordon, Endicott, Salve Regina, Wentworth, University of New England, and Western New England, where former Monroe standout and current Woodbridge head boys basketball coach, Matt Gigliello played.
According to NJ.com, Rafano played in 26 of South River’s 27 games this past season, made 57 field goals, 7 threes, and 66 free throws to total 200 points. Rafano also collected 97 assists, 72 rebounds, and 30 steals to average 7.7 points, 3.7 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per contest. He had career highs in free throws made, points per game, rebounds, and rebounds per game this past season.
The scrappy Rafano played varsity all four years at South River, and finished with 103 career games, 173 field goals made, 42 threes, and 169 free throws for a total of 638 career points. Rafano also tallied 370 assists, 232 rebounds, and 123 steals to finish with an average of 6.2 points, 3.6 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. Statistically, Rafano’s best year overall was his junior year campaign in 2017-18.
Playing in 27 games, Rafano made 60 field goals, 14 threes, and 43 free throws for a total of 206 points. In addition, Rafano also collected a career highs for steals in a season with 40, and assists in a season (109). He averaged 7.6 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per contest that year. However, this past season still stood out more because of his ability to get to the line, and often times it was to complete a traditional three point play.
Rafano made quite a habit of completing traditional three point plays during the course of the 2018-19 season in games covered by GMC Hoops. Against Spotswood at South River on January 4th, Rafano scored 24 points on six field goals including a foul shot, and 11 free throws. Four times, the senior point guard converted conventional three point plays for the Rams in what turned out to be a wild scoring, foul ridden (57 personal fouls) affair with the arch rival Chargers won by South River, 87–83.
During the 2018-19 season, Rafano only scored in double figures eight times, but that represented over half of all the double figure games he had in his four years at South River. The 24 point performance against Spotswood was not a career best though. As a sophomore, Rafano scored 25 points on five field goals, two threes, and 9 foul shots during a 68-61 loss at Middlesex on February 3, 2017. Rafano, who also had 4 steals and 2 assists in that game, scored 19 points in a 69-63 loss to the Blue Jays in South River on January 6, 2017 to end up averaging 22 points in the two losses to Middlesex.
Rafano will not be the only South River basketball standout to bring his game to New England. South River big man, Shawn Fenton, who helped lead a Rams resurgence in Harris’ first season as head coach back in 2009-10, also played college hoops in New England. After playing at Middlesex County College with the likes of former J.P. Stevens standout, Myles Reuben, Fenton moved up north to play at Daniel Webster College, a D3 school in New Hampshire.
During the 2014-15 season, Fenton made a solid contribution to the Eagles of the New England Collegiate Conference with 10.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game including two free throws in overtime to cap a 16 point performance and defeat Elms in the quarterfinals of the 2015 NECC tournament. Rafano will definitely have an opportunity to make an impact right away with a Curry College men’s basketball program in rebuilding mode.
In 2018-19, Curry finished 1-24 overall including an 0-16 mark in the CCC. Over the past four seasons, the Colonels were only 4-96 overall with a 2-23 mark two seasons ago being the best record of the period. The last solid season put in at Curry was in 2012-13 when the Colonels finished 21-8 overall under head coach, Malcolm Wynn. It would be the best season in Wynn’s 12 year career coaching at the school. Congratulations Zac, and best of luck moving forward.