FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT Evan O’Kelly Director of Communications O: (406) 657-2130 E: email@example.com Thursday, December 1, 2016 New Faces: MSUB Men’s Basketball Freshman Cinco Durr
Carrying on a family legacy that has lasted five generations, Raphael “Cinco” Durr V is excelling on the court for the Yellowjackets as a true freshman at point guard this season. MSUB SPORTS – Midway through the second half of Montana State University Billings’ game against Cal State East Bay at home on Nov. 19, guard Cinco Durr let show a sign that he was a true freshman on the court. Directly following a timeout, the 6-foot Durr made a bad pass and created a fast-break scoring chance for the Pioneers. What happened next caught the entire gym by surprise, bringing fans and teammates to their feet as he quickly atoned for the turnover. Using explosive speed to race to the opposing basket in pursuit of his thief, Durr tried to focus on his timing as adrenaline coursed through his veins. He had been in this moment before, and counted on his memory to guide him through the next, crucial steps.
As CSUEB’s Drew Bender elevated with the ball in his right hand for a layup, Durr took his final step and leapt skyward from just behind his opponent’s shoulder. As the ball released from the 6-foot-5 Bender’s fingertips, it was sent immediately back towards the floor at Alterowitz Gym by Durr’s right hand on a play that would have caught the attention of the Yellowjacket spikers. “In high school I blocked a few shots, so I just thought back to when I had done it before,” Durr commented on preparing to block a player who stood almost half a foot taller than him. “I had turned the ball over, so I just knew I had to get back. He was going to his right, and I knew I had to time it right to get into the position to block the shot.” An instant of shock among the crowd built into cheers as Durr displayed a taste of his athleticism and diverse ability on the court. Raphael Durr V was born on July 5, 1998, the fifth grandchild of Raphael Durr III and the fifth consecutive Durr to take his father’s name. The fitting nickname of Cinco has stuck ever since. Hailing from Sacramento, Calif., soccer was the first sport Durr picked up as he wanted to follow his sister Chaya’s lead as a four-year-old. A year later, Durr found himself holding a basketball and hasn’t looked back since. By his eighth grade year he realized that his size wasn’t conducive to continuing his football career, so he committed himself to the hardwood full time. “I started working on my jump shot and skills more my freshman year, and a lot of development came when I was a sophomore and first played varsity,” said Durr referring to his time at Sacramento Charter High School. “That was the year I started learning where I needed to be in order to have success in going on to playing college ball.” Idolizing Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Durr, like most kids, had dreams of going on to play in the NBA when he was in elementary school. By the time he had to choose a college to continue playing the game he loved, MSUB was one of the few schools that identified Durr’s potential to thrive at the NCAA Division II level. “He was very quick and had the ability to guard players for 94 feet,” said MSUB head coach Jamie Stevens on the qualities Durr possessed during the recruiting process. “We knew he had great vision and was a great passer, but he also has a really good mid-range game that we didn’t really see until he got here.” Durr has seen action in all seven of the Yellowjackets’ games so far this season, averaging 18.1 minutes per game and earning one start along the way. His 20 total assists are the most on the team and rank him sixth in the entire Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and he is averaging 4.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in his early career as well. “It was pretty tough coming to a whole new state, and it took some time to get used to the new players and how they play,” said Durr. “We really have good chemistry and play together well, and we have become more comfortable with each other.”
Junior point guard Kendall Denham was one of the players Durr leaned on most at first, as the freshman counted on the veteran to learn every facet of the team’s offense. Durr also cites the bond he has formed with sophomore Christian Evans and senior Marc Matthews as helping to ease the transition to the college game. “Kendall just helped me a ton with plays and he is who I looked up to the most on the court,” Durr commented. “Marc came around and we got close, and he has helped me out mentally and with my goals.” Durr explained that one of his biggest goals as a freshman is learning to anticipate where all of his shooters are going to be on the court at all times. Anticipation is key for the quarterback of the team, and Durr has his sights set on always being a step ahead as he continues to learn the intricacies of the Yellowjackets’ offense. Before Durr could catch his breath, he had made it through an intense preseason with the team and was headed back to his home state to begin the regular Denham (right) has taken Durr under his wing and gotten the freshman season with the Yellowjackets. Taking on the No. 9 team up to speed in MSUB offense. in the NCAA in Cal Baptist University, Durr’s nerves began to tighten as Van Dyne Gym in Riverside, Calif., began to fill up with familiar faces as he worked through his warmup progression. “It was an emotional moment, but I loved it,” Durr said on the chance to begin his career in front of his father Raphael IV, mother Charlene, and countless other family members. “I felt like I had an extra energy and my game was lifted. I wanted to show them that I could play at this level and that college basketball was for me.” Not only did Durr show he belonged, but he was one of the team’s top performers with a season-best 15 points in 16 minutes. “My parents are my backbone and they have supported me a lot through the process of playing college basketball,” said Durr. “They always give me their input, but leave me to make my own decisions and I love them for that.” While Denham and senior Jace Anderson have split the majority of time running the point for the ‘Jackets this season, Durr is projected as the program’s point guard of the future. Stevens pointed out that Durr being college-ready as a true freshman is a big plus, and is excited about his potential. “He has no fear, and his athleticism and ability to pass are all at a college level right now,” said Stevens. “As Cinco grows in the program and finds his voice, he will be a great leader and point guard.” Durr and the Yellowjackets return home this weekend to open GNAC play, with games against Concordia University on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Western Oregon University on Monday at 7 p.m. at Alterowitz Gym. Though Durr has never experience first-hand the level of play in a conference game, he recognized he is aware of how competitive the weekend ahead will be.
Coming off the team’s most recent road trip however, Durr is confident that the ‘Jackets will hit league play in stride. Winning three games in-a-row away from home for the first time since the 2012-13 season, Durr and his teammates responded positively after a pair of losses at home the week before. “We had a lot of pressure on us, but we really came together as a team,” Durr said. “On coach’s scouting board it says that we need to get better every game. On that trip that’s what we did, and everything started to fall into place. Being a part of it was amazing.”
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Published on Dec 1, 2016
Published on Dec 1, 2016
Carrying on a family legacy that has lasted five generations, Raphael “Cinco” Durr V is excelling on the court for the Yellowjackets as a tr...