To say that basketball is a way of life around the Scott household would be putting it mildly. The father-daughter duo of Rob Scott and Raquel Harris-Scott have excelled on the court their entire lives and are now displaying their basketball talents at Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC).
Rob is the assistant men's basketball coach under head coach Chris Martin, while daughter Raquel is a standout guard on the women's team under head coach Rich Cooper. The Scotts have played a key role in their teams' successes from both the coaches' circle and through on-court play.
The men's team currently boasts an impressive 27-4 overall record and the No. 2 seed as it competes in this weekend's NJCAA Region XIX Final Four at Northampton County College. Rob, a fourth-year assistant, works with the Roadrunners' centers, playing a key role in the development and work ethic of his players. Rasheen Merlin – a 6-foot 9-inch center – credits Rob for much of his success during the current season.
"Coach Rob and all of the coaches have worked hard with me and have shown a lot of trust in me," said Merlin. "I know I can always go to him if I need some extra work after practice or just for advice."
Following a standout career at Pleasantville High School in which he earned All-State honors and scored more than 1,000 career points, the 6-foot 6-inch Scott continued his career at Rowan University. While Scott was a member of the roster, the Profs earned a Division III Final Four appearance in 1995 and won the national championship in 1996. A power forward and center, Scott later earned All-American honors as a senior during the 1997-98 season under head coach Joe Cassidy. In a recent selection of the top 50 players in Rowan history, Scott was selected as a Third Team power forward. He scored 1,244 points for the Profs from 1994 through 1998 and is currently No. 11 on the school's list of all-time leading scorers.
Raquel, a sophomore, has enjoyed solid success both in high school and at RCGC. A 5-foot 10-inch guard, she currently averages 13.1 points and 10 rebounds per game which has helped the Roadrunners earn the No. 1 overall seed as they enter this weekend's Region XIX Final Four at Northampton starting Saturday, March 3. The Lady Roadrunners also earned the 2018 Garden State Athletic Conference Championship and currently have fashioned a 17-game win streak.
"In college, I've learned to slow things down a little and work on my jump shot, which is getting better," Raquel said. "I'm getting more confident each game."
At Overbrook Regional High School, Raquel helped turn around a program that had just one win in 2011 into one that soared to a 20-8 playoff season by her senior year. In 2016, Raquel averaged 10.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game with the Rams. Her skills continued to improve when she entered the Roadrunners' program as a freshman in the fall of 2016.
"Her hustle and her motor are her greatest strengths," said Rob about Raquel's current career at RCGC. "If her jump shot isn't falling, she's hustling to make other things happen. She's always involved in the plays, and that's what she does well. Her hard work pays off. Off the court, she's working hard all the time, even while other people are sleeping. We also talk about the mental aspects of the game and work on other points that give her an advantage on the court."
Through the years, Rob helped to coach Raquel while she played on her AAU teams and to this day still works with her regularly.
"Oh yeah, we check in with each other – like, all the time," Rob said with a laugh. "I'm proud of her accomplishments. "
When asked who the better player between the two was, Dad did not hesitate for one moment.
"Right now I give it to Raquel," said Rob with a proud smile. "I'm the guy who has the blueprint and she follows the blueprint. She has worked very hard to achieve her success."
Naturally, Raquel sees it differently and shies away from comparisons to focus on the family relationship.
"Do you see how tall my Dad is," she joked. "But I love the fact we work together like this. It's always made us closer."
Raquel hopes to continue her basketball career at a four-year school and admits her life will be different without her father always by her side. She will graduate with a business degree from RCGC this spring and will switch majors to sports management when she continues her education. She hopes to become a sports agent in her career path.
"It will be hard going away and he won't be right there," she said, "but I'm confident in my abilities and that I'll continue to succeed. I owe a lot to my dad."
For more information on the Roadrunners athletic programs at RCGC, see RCGC.edu/Athletics.
Rowan College at Gloucester County is located at 1400 Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.