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Alkins at peace with potential end to his CK career

By Joseph Staszewski

Rawle Alkins sat on the end of the scorers’ table staring into an uncertain future.

A 79-73 loss to Wings in the state Federation Class AA boys’ basketball final could be the last time the junior star wears a Christ the King uniform. The Royals failed to become the first program to win three straight Federation titles at the highest classification.

“Man, it’s really over,” said Alkins of what went through his mind. “I worked so hard to get back here for our legacy for me and my coach. It ended up not going our way.”

He hopes that is not the case when he and the school will petition the state for a waiver for his return. Alkins, the reigning CHSAA regular season and playoff MVP, played eight varsity games off the bench as an eighth grader for Palm Beach Central High School before moving back to Brooklyn. New York State allows a high school student only four years of eligibility unless granted a waiver. If it were denied he would have to go to prep school. The reality of things wasn’t lost on Alkins.

“I might not come back next year,” he said. “So I mean, I guess this is it.”

His weekend on the court was far from a Hollywood ending. Alkins, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound forward, scored just six points in Christ the King’s comeback win over Long Island Lutheran in the semifinals. He netted 24 in the title game against Wings, but was unable to keep the Royals from losing an 11-point lead with 5:00 to play in the game.

If this is it for him, he will not be remembered as the kid who lost his last game at Christ the King, but one who helped produce an unprecedented era of winning. He is the only player in school history to win three CHSAA Intersectional titles and also win two state crowns. This season Alkins also became the first boys’ player at CK to record a triple double.

“This ride was been amazing,” Alkins said. “I loved every part of it.”

Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said he didn’t talk to Alkins after the season-ending loss like this was his last game coaching him. That is a conversation for another day and at a different moment in time. In his mind, Christ the King doesn’t need him back to make a run for another city and Federation title, but boy would he love for him to be back.

“We will figure it out,” Arbitello said. “We lost. It’s not like it’s urgent to bring him back. I want him back because he wants to be back. I want him back because he is a great kid.”

It is exactly what came across talking to Alkins right after the lost to Wings. He didn’t run from the moment, but lived in it. You got the sense Alkins wanted to say a proper goodbye.

He thanked Christ the King for the opportunities it provided him, the pack of reporters around him for their coverage, and finally his teammates, especially after how they played in the semifinals.

“My team was just amazing, especially yesterday,” Alkins said. “I was struggling. They held me down. They won the game for me and the program. They proved it’s not the Rawle Alkins show like Joe Arbitello said. It’s the Christ the King show.”

It may go back to simply that next year, but the Rawle Alkins portion of the show was great fun. There were dazzling dunks, remarkable personal growth from a shy freshman to an engaging and genuine junior and kid who proved just how cool winning and winning big can be

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