High hopes for Lake Charles College Prep’s Blazers, Batiste looking for playoff wins, a chance at state

Published 11:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2022

Already a leader on the court and in the classroom, Lake Charles College Prep point guard Ryan Batiste is hoping to take the Blazers’ program to new heights this season.

Batiste earned second team all district honors last season while helping Prep reach the first round of the playoffs. He’s hoping for a longer postseason run in his senior season. Last year’s first round loss to Carroll was the first time the Blazers lost in the first round in its four playoff appearances. After winning a postseason game in three straight seasons, the Blazers missed the playoffs in 2020 and has lost in the first round each of the past two seasons.

Ending that streak is on Batiste’s to-do list for the upcoming season.

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“I’d like to make first team all district, win the district and for sure get past the first round of the playoffs and try to get to state,” he said. “As a team I think we had a good season last year, but this one should be better.”

Batiste keeps things in balance for himself, excelling on the court and in the classroom, and for the Blazers, for whom he serves as leader and primary  ball-handler and distributor.

Despite averaging 15 points and 6 assists per game as a junior, Batiste views himself as a true point guard that looks to pass first.

“I make my teammates around me better,” he said. “I try to be a leader by keeping all of my teammates up, making sure they are in the right spots, talking to them to pick them up and never doing anything to bring them down. I’m trying to improve all areas of my game this summer. As a team, I think we’ll be good at running the floor and hitting our open shots.”

Batiste said the Blazers should be improved in the second season of head coach Sean Andrus’s tenure.

“When you play for Coach Andrus, you are going to work hard, run and do a lot of extra stuff,” he said.

Andrus said Batiste is an ideal building block for the program.

“Ryan is a very good at balancing getting everyone their shot while also looking for his own which can be tough at times,” he said. “He scores it well on all three levels for us but he’s best when he gets it to the paint and creates for others.”

Andrus said Batiste shows the way off the court as well.

“The best thing about coaching Ryan is that he’s a great young man,” he said. “He works hard at everything and does everything a coach can ask of him. He really has taken the leadership role to heart this summer by taking some of the younger guys under his wing and coaching them up. Off the court he has a 3.7 GPA so he’s just as driven in the classroom as well.”

Before hitting the hardwood, Batiste is hoping to make an impact on the Blazers football team, which he joined midway through last season. He plays safety.

“I love the game and it was fun,” he said. “Everybody was having fun last year and it made me want to go out there.”