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High school basketball: Scott Raper plays a vital role in Centennial building a tradition

Even if it means dressing up as a cheerleader, Raper will do whatever it takes to lead his team to greatness.
by Scott Wright Published: March 4, 2013

For the third year in a row, a promise has been made.

Centennial basketball coach Scott Raper won't say what it is. The players chose the details.

But if Centennial comes through the Class 3A state tournament bracket with its third consecutive championship, you can bet Raper will be performing some embarrassing act next week.

Maybe he'll shave his head a third time, or wear a cheerleader's outfit, like he did last year — each act performed in front of Centennial's entire student body, all the way down to the seventh graders, in an assembly that generates as much excitement as any you'll see at a high school.

Making it a school-wide event is important at the Oklahoma City Public Schools facility located at NE 101 and Kelley. Basketball has become the first ray of light to poke through to the outside world for the school that has only been open since 2007.

“We don't have a lot of tradition yet, and the basketball program is helping us to establish some tradition,” Centennial principal Charmaine Johnson said. “It gives us a positive energy of success, because that's what we're looking for on the court and on the field, but also in the classroom and the hallways.

“It brings a positive energy that says to the kids that we can do anything and we can be successful if we set forth our minds and are committed.”

Raper plays a vital role in that process. The son of Hall of Fame coach Dub Raper, Scott Raper coaches his team with the same principles the school is trying to instill in its students.

Hard work, dedication, expectations of greatness.

“He understands his kids and he can relate to the kids he has,” said Dub Raper, who took teams to state at four different schools, including Carl Albert and Millwood. “He has a lot more patience than I did as a coach. He knows how to work with his players when they do things, make mistakes.”

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by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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