Former Morgan City High School standout Makye Richard attempts a layup during a pick-up basketball game at the Siracusa Recreational Center Wednesday evening. Richard has transferred from Northern New Mexico College closer to home at Xavier University in New Orleans. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Richard to continue playing career at Xavier University in New Orleans
Former Morgan City High School hoops standout Makye Richard always has wanted to attend Xavier University, but hasn’t been able to.
Coming out of Baton Rouge Community College, he was schedule to attend a tryout with the squad but was unable to due to bad weather preventing him from making the tryout.
Instead, he found a home at Northern New Mexico College where he played basketball along with former Morgan City High School teammate Tywaun Walker.
A year after being 16 hours away and a desire to play in front of family, Richard will finally get his chance to suit up at the New Orleans school.
“The big part for me was being closer to home and having family be able to come watch me play,” Richard said of his decision to come home. “It was hard being 16 hours away, not having much support out there besides Tywaun, which is my childhood best friend, so it was hard waking up every day knowing that I’m working this hard but my family wouldn’t be able to see me put it all on the floor. It was tough.”
In his lone season in New Mexico, Richard was second on the team in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per game and averaged 4.5 rebounds per game.
However, he wouldn’t characterize his season as a good season
“I would call it a decent season just because I did all those things yet we still fell short of the conference championship, which I felt we could have won. … That was my main goal going down there was to win a conference championship and make the national tournament, and that didn’t happen,” he said.
The Eagles finished 11-15 overall falling in the first round of the conference tournament to eventual conference champion Voorhees.
Richard contacted Xavier about transferring, and while he said the school was interested in him, he said he needed to improve his grades to qualify academically.
He had to earn a 3.0 grade point average the spring semester at Northern New Mexico to qualify.
Richard did better than that, earning a 3.5 grade point average.
He already has met a few teammates, but has known former H.L. Bourgeois standout Rayshawn Mart since high school. Mart was an NAIA honorable mention All-American his sophomore season. He said the public has been excited about the opportunity for him and Mart to team up in the Gold Rush backcourt.
“It was exciting from Houma all the way this way,” Richard said. “Everybody was excited like ‘OK, we got two amazing guys in the backcourt.'”
However, Richard knows he has to earn his spot.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make the starting lineup, but if coach sees something different, then I’m all for it,” he said.
A year ago, Xavier finished with an 18-14 mark.
The move to Xavier will be a step up in competition as it competes in NAIA Division 1. Northern New Mexico was an NAIA Division 2 school.
“It’s a big step up, and that’s what I’m excited about,” he said. “More competition, and they have guys that are going pro from the NAIA of this conference.”
He said it will be a lot of fun to play in front of his family.
“It’s like I get another edge to me,” he said. “Being able to play in front of my family and friends, I excel a little more, I guess you could say, because knowing that I have that support in the crowd makes me go 10 times harder in practice, in games, in workouts just knowing that I’m playing for more than just me. I’m playing for my community and my family.”