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Darius Ratliff Talks: EYBL, Expectations, and Future Plans

Darius Ratliff
Darius Ratliff (NIKE EYBL)

As a long, versatile and floor-spreading 6-foot-10 forward, Stepinac HS and PSA Cardinals prospect 6'9" W Darius Ratliff (Archbishop Stepinac HS, NY '26) possesses a wealth of upside.

Ratliff, who showed flashes during the regular season this past year, has the essential ingredients to emerge into a menacing rim protector next season. The son of legendary NBA shot-blocker Theo Ratliff. Darius also has a twin brother, Adonis, who poses a similar threat for defenders as a thunderous finisher with an inside-outside game. Stepinac is coming off its second consecutive city title. The Ratliff twins will play a significant role as Pat Massaroni's team will again garner national visibility.

We caught up with Darius this weekend:

ZS: How do you envision your role next season at Stepinac? As they fill a big void left by (Arkansas signee) Johnuel "Boogie" Fland and (Quinnipiac signee) Braylan Ritvo. With guys like yourself, your brother, Danny Carbuccia, Hassan Koureissi, Jasiah Jervis and others stepping into more meaningful roles.

DR: I envision my role as an anchor on defense, a stretch 5 who can space out the floor. And a leader.

ZS: What do you think it is which makes you unique given your size and skill set at this level? What do you feel are your best attributes as a player?

DR: What is unique about my game is that I can play outside and stretch out floor and be a threat with the 3-ball. I can be a threat, whether it is on the line or from deep. I also don’t need to do too much to get to score. I just get my spots. I am fundamentally sound. I think my best attribute is shooting.

ZS: How would you describe the AAU experience playing for the PSA Cardinals? What do you guys hope to attain this season?

DR: This AAU experience has been eye opening. It has shown what areas of my game I am good around and also what I can work on. It is also helping me, by taking on a bigger role on the team, like I will be doing at Stepinac this upcoming season. The goal is to be the best team in EYBL and (culminate the season) by winning Peach Jam.

ZS: It certainly is no secret you have grown up in a basketball family. What's the support like? Is there pressure?

DR: The support has been great. My dad pushed myself and my brother to a different level. I feel like there’s a little pressure, but it’s nothing that is too much for me to handle.