Rawle Alkins sat on the end of scorers’ table staring into an uncertain future.
A 79–73 loss to Wings Academy in the state Federation Class AA boys’ basketball final could be the last time the junior boys’ basketball star and Canarsie native wears a Christ the King uniform. The Royals failed to become the first program to win three-straight Federation title at the highest classification.
“Man it’s really over,” said Alkins of what went through his mind. “I worked so hard to get back here for our legacy for me and my coach. It ended up not going our way.”
He hopes that is not the case when he and the school petition the state for a waiver for his return. Alkins played eight varsity games off the bench as an eighth grader for Palm Beach Central High School before moving back to Brooklyn. New York State allows a high school student only four years of eligibility unless granted a waiver. If it is denied, he would have to go to prep school. The reality of things wasn’t lost on Alkins.
“I might not come back next year,” he said. “So, I mean, I guess this is it.”
His weekend on the court was far from a Hollywood ending. Alkins scored just six points in Christ the King’s comeback win over Long Island Lutheran in the semifinals. He netted 24 in the title game against Wings, but was unable to keep the Royals from losing an 11-point lead with 5:00 to play in the game. But never once did he stop believing in his team.
“I still thought we were going to win,” Alkins said.
If this is it for him, he will not be remembered as the kid who lost his last game at Christ the King, but the one who helped produce an unprecedented era of winning. He is the only player in school history to win three Catholic High School Athletic Association Intersectional titles and also won two state crowns. This season Alkins also became first boys’ player at Christ the King to record a triple double.
Coach Joe Arbitello said he didn’t talk to Alkins after the season-ending loss like this was his last game coaching him. That is a conversation for another day. In his mind, Christ the King doesn’t need him back to make a run another city and Federation title, but boy, they’d love to have him.
“We will figure it out,” Arbitello said. “We lost. It’s not like it’s urgent to bring him back. I want him back because he wants to be back. I want him back because he is a great kid.”
That is exactly what came across talking to Alkins right after the loss to Wings. You got the sense he wanted to say a proper goodbye.
Alkins thanked Christ the King for the opportunities it provided him, the pack of reporters around him for their coverage, and finally his teammates — particularly for how they played in the semifinals.
“My team was just amazing, especially yesterday,” Alkins said. “I was struggling. They won the game for me and the program. They proved it’s not the Rawle Alkins show like Joe Arbitello said. It’s the Christ the King show.”
It may go back to simply that next year if Alkins isn’t granted to a waiver to return. The ending of his time at Christ the King wasn’t storybook, but the journey for him was.
“This ride was been amazing,” Alkins said. “I loved every part of it.”