‘Rocket Man’

Published 3:13 pm Friday, August 11, 2023

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RALEIGH – The dream to play professional basketball is real for a former Hertford County High School athlete.

Jquwan Ruffin was a standout player for Coach Charles Simmons at Hertford County High School. He is now playing professionally with the ABA’s Raleigh Rockets. Photo from Raleigh Rockets Facebook page

Jquwan Ruffin has earned a spot on the roster of the Raleigh Rockets, which held tryouts in May and announced their final selections later that same month.

This came after the American Basketball Association (ABA) announced that the Raleigh Rockets have been added to its Mid-Atlantic Division as part of the league’s record-setting expansion for next season.

“We are really excited to have Louis Baker V and his [Raleigh] team as part of the ABA,” stated ABA CEO Joe Newman. “The wealth of great talent in North Carolina is huge and with the recent addition of two NC teams, we are adding two strong teams to the league.”

The ABA season begins in November. Its schedule is pending.

A high school basketball standout with offers from several major college programs, Baker took a different option and joined the US Army in honor of his late grandfather. He then attended Faith in Action Bible College where he received his Masters of Theology.

“The focus at this point in my life is to build opportunities and a family legacy,” said Baker. “I want to give people opportunities to do big things and also have something to leave my children when I am gone. I believe I can do that with the ABA and Raleigh Rockets.”