SHAWNEE — Fayzon Richey has guaranteed induction into the St. Gregory's University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Nothing official just yet. But it is a no-brainer.
Richey has been an extraordinary scorer since permanently joining the Cavaliers' starting lineup his third game as a freshman. He's averaged 20.9 points for 3 1/2 seasons and ranked among the NAIA's top-10 scorers as a sophomore, junior and senior. The 6-foot-3 guard became St. Gregory's all-time leading scorer earlier this season, passing Patrick Jones, who collected 1,793 points over the 2004-08 seasons.
And sometime soon — maybe even Thursday at Mid-America Christian — Richey will reach the 2,000-point pinnacle. He's only 37 points away, which some nights, is pocket change for the former El Reno High standout.
Richey visited with The Oklahoman:
Richey averaged 17 points a game off the bench the first two games of his college career. He has started since, “and my average started going up from there,” he said. “I never thought I'd get to 2,000 points. It's something you don't think about.”
St. Gregory's went toe-to-toe with Tulsa, Nebraska and TCU trying to get Richey. What impressed Richey was St. Gregory's persistence. “They kept calling and calling and calling,” Richey said. He almost signed with Hutchinson Junior College (Kan.) to get bigger and stronger and then sign with a Division I program. But Hutch had to pass on Richey, because it already had its allowed number of out-of-state players. Again, “St. Gregory's was there calling me. I decided it must be the place for me.”
Basketball runs in the family. Sister Lashounda Richey-Faye was a two-time junior-college All-American at Redlands Junior College in El Reno. Fayzon's cousins are well-known around here — C.J. and Xavier Henry starred at Putnam City High School. C.J. is still pursuing professional baseball, and Xavier is with the NBA's New Orleans Hornets.
If Richey scouted himself, he would say he “can get to the basket well. I've got good length, and I love to rebound despite my size. My weaknesses, I need to step it up on defense and become more of a vocal leader. That's just about it.” Richey wants to become a sports broadcaster, though he wants to try professional basketball first, whether it be overseas or the D-League.
When told he was a surefire Athletics Hall of Famer, right along with legendary St. Gregory's coach Don Sumner, Richey said: “I never thought about that until now. Wow. To be in there with Mr. Sumner would be a great honor.”