June 28, 2012

To defend is to Pratt

Kevin McCarthy

Pratt for the defense sounds like a new fall show on one of the television networks. But if such came to fruition, instead of courtroom verbal judo, blistering cross examination and solemn pledging to tell the truth, it would be up-and-down the court forays, in-your-face pressure and being the truth, starring San Francisco Rebel and Sacred Heart Cathedral High (SHC) talent Herman Pratt.

photo of Herman Pratt

Standing at 6-foot-1, Pratt is not on the big side but he epitomizes that it's the size of the fight in someone that is carried into battle.

Of course, he is assigned to make life as miserable as possible for his opponent.

"I match up with the best player/best shooter but also play really good help defense," Pratt explained.

Match up is a modest understatement.

Here San Francisco Rebel Coach Nate Ford on his player: "Herman brings all-out hustle to the team -- he's always on the floor. With his commitment to defense, it gets contagious to the other members of the team as he makes everyone rise to the challenge or raise the bar on the defensive end. He is definitely one of the top defenders I've had in my program."

To get a sense of Pratt's mindset during a game, when asked about his best moment to date on the court he replied, "blocking a shot or taking a charge."

Now that's a first.

As for the other end of the court, Pratt again prospers by getting physical.

According to Ford, "Offensively, Herman can step out and knock down the three-point shot but his forte is going to the basket, creating contact and finishing at the hoop. He is very underrated on the offensive end -- a 14 points per game average this season -- and teams know that they can't sleep on him in crunch time. At 6-foot-1, he jumps like he's 6-foot-5 and he always pounds the glass. Herman has to be one of the better rebounding guards in the league."

The young man counts his uncle Emmanuel Pratt as his biggest influence. The elder Pratt was at San Jose State before having to go to work to help out his family.

"I feel what I'm doing is carrying on for him."

As for next season, SHC is minus Josh Fox and Taylor Johns who are now Highlanders at UC Riverside and the squad is coming off a 28-6 overall, 10-4 West Catholic Athletic League record. Coach Darrell Barbour's crew is also coming off a four-point loss, 71-67, to Alemany in the state championship game.

The call will be more leadership from Pratt plus stepping up his play.

"We'll be small but feisty," he offered.

He's hoping to garner more than interest from Nevada and UNLV in particular but remains wide open as to his next destination.

In talking about Pratt's recruiting to date, Ford said, "Herman's getting interest from UC Irvine, Cal State East Bay, UC Riverside, Nevada and Chico State. He just got back from the UC Irvine Camp last week and played pretty well."