Joe James Youngstown Rayen

BCSisdead

New member
I saw in a facebook post in the Growing Up in Youngstown Ohio group Joe James died. He played at Rayen in the late 70s . Rayen at that time was a powerhouse. The regional championship was referred to as the Rayen invitational. James and Clark Kellogg were two of the highest rated recruits James their senior year.
 
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Irish60

Well-known member
I can't say I personally know much about him, but he was twice AA All-Ohio first team in 1977-78 and 1978-79. And he was AA POY in 1978-79. He went on to the University of Michigan after his standout high school career.
 

Caleb

Well-known member
If my memory is correct I remember being at the Canton Fieldhouse and watching Rayen vs Cleveland (?) when Colin Irish played for them in a regional game. The place was packed.
 

BCSisdead

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Rayen beat Cathedral Latin in the regular season (by 20 or 30 points I believe). Then lost in the regional finals by 3. James got hurt in the second quarter of the game. I think this was the last year Cathedral Latin was open.
 

tiger76

New member
If it is true that JOE JAMES passed away, then that truly saddens me !! He might be the greatest basketball player to ever come out of THE RAYEN SCHOOL ! He was also an outstanding young man....I believe he was Class President of the 1979 Rayen Senior Class ! In my senior year {1976 }...JOE would have started for us as a Freshman, but at that time the YOUNGSTOWN CITY SCHOOL system had a ridiculous and silly rule that freshmen could not play at the Varsity level ! Unbelievably , RAYEN won 10 consecutive district titles from 1977 to 1986 under Coach Frank Czegledy........4 of those years they made it to the State tournament in Columbus and won the State Championship in 1985.....In 1982 ,they lost in the finals to a DAYTON ROTH team ,that was led by KEITH BYARS,who would later star in football at OHIO STATE and then in the NFL.........Besides losing to CLEVELAND CATHEDRAL LATIN twice in the Regional Finals in 1978 and then 1979[ both games played at CANTON CIVIC AUDITORIUM -- not the FIELDHOUSE ]they also lost to AKRON SOUTH in1977 and AKRON ST.VINCENT ST.MARY in 1983 and again in 1984 in REGIONAL play ........DAVID MASON-GREG JONES-ADAM POWELL-MARK McLENDON-TERRY TAYLOR -FLOYD SHOWERS-and MIKE LYLE were standouts on those great RAYEN TIGER teams in that era.
 

tiger76

New member
I am embarrassed to admit that I never found out where JOE JAMES ever surfaced after college . It certainly was not the YOUNGSTOWN area ............ there were several ''alumni'' type basketball games over the years...... RAYEN vs.EAST.....RAYEN vs.SOUTH etc. and Joe never participated in those exhibition games.......Many years ago I heard a rumor that he had attended Law School after MICHIGAN and then EASTERN MICHIGAN [ where he had transferred to ].......but I never heard anything further . I sure hope that the news of his death is false !! What a great guy he was !!
 
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