His left leg, sporting a black walking boot starting just below his knee, is stretched out as he quietly soft-tosses a basketball in the air, his eyes focused across the floor.
Head varsity basketball coach Charlie Wilde’s booming voice echoes off the walls as he paces along the baseline, instructing his Pioneer team of what the next two-hour workout holds on the chilly, rainy day.
Rattler won’t be playing or practicing until early January as he recovers from a high-ankle sprain.
He doesn’t have to be at practice.
But he wants to be.
Behind the heralded 2019 decorated quarterback prospect is a scholar-athlete who puts his teammates before himself, whether on the football field or the basketball court.
thankful! 🙏🏼😌 pic.twitter.com/u6BS0lARsa
— Spencer Rattler (@SpencerRattler) November 24, 2016
While his skill-set under the Friday night lights is what has already attracted offers from traditional powers like Oklahoma, Miami, Texas A&M, UCLA and a handful of others, his passion for running a different kind of offense as a combo guard often goes overlooked.
Meet Spencer Rattler the basketball player: 14.2 points and four rebounds per game, a team-leading 64 percent shooter from the field and leadership skills often not seen from a player his age.
His varsity basketball evolution from last year is just as jaw-dropping as his ability to throw the deep ball or leave a defense on skates with his elusiveness in and around the pocket.
“Football helped my [basketball] game strength-wise,” Rattler explained to Sports360AZ.com. “Last year I was a little smaller and couldn’t push people around like I can this year (smiling). My legs are a lot stronger. I’m jumping a lot higher.”
This year Rattler, who started playing basketball at age five, dunked for the first time in a game and scored a career-high 33 points against Sandra Day O’Connor on 13-15 shooting, including 7-8 on three-pointers.
— Pinnacle Basketball (@PinnacleBball) December 16, 2016
“Spencer just loves to compete,” Wilde said flashing a wide smile. “He is very confident in his abilities but there’s never any cockiness. He’s probably a better person than he is an athlete.”
Staying grounded, focused and selfless away from athletics is something Rattler’s parents instilled in him at a young age. Whether dishing out dimes on the court or making a much bigger impact assisting in the community, the six-foot-one, 175-pounder is happy to do it.
“My parents preached if you don’t have good grades you can’t go anywhere,” Rattler said after completing a 3.6 fall semester at Pinnacle. “I work as hard in school as I do in sports.”
It’s all part of Rattler’s perfect recipe for success in the most important game.
The game of life.