MBB: Former Viking John Raquel continues career in ABA

John Raquel (2) defends during an Invader game earlier this season. (Photo credit: Paula Raquel)

A former Valley City State men’s basketball player is continuing his career in the American Basketball Association. Point guard John Raquel, who last season helped the VCSU men’s basketball team to the NAIA National Tournament, is playing this season with the ABA’s Inland Empire Invaders in Riverside, Calif. Raquel was one of five seniors on last year’s VCSU men’s basketball squad that ended a 26-year drought at VCSU with the program’s first national tournament appearance since 1986. He played two seasons at VCSU, posting career averages of 11 points and 3.3 assists per game.  With the Invaders, Raquel is averaging about 20 minutes a game and scoring about 11 points per game. His team is coming off a 117-96 victory over the San Diego Surf on Jan. 4. Coming up on Jan. 18, the Invaders will host a team from Gangnam, Korea – a sister city of Riverside.  The Inland Empire Invaders are currently 5-7 and in fourth place out of five teams in the Southern California Division. In the latest ABA Power Rankings, the Invaders are rated 24th in the league of 60-plus teams. More information on the ABA is available at abalive.com