Basketball: Ramos is home sweet home

Josh Ramos was living in a city just outside of Buffalo, N.Y., last summer before moving back to Hollister last fall.

Josh Ramos will remember 2015 as the year where the twists and turns of life took full effect. Shortly after completing his junior year at San Benito High, Ramos moved to a town outside of Buffalo, N.Y. In October, Ramos was back living in Hollister.
“I was excited to come back home and ready to play some basketball,” he said. “I just wanted to get back to work.”
And that’s exactly what Ramos has done. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward recently had a stretch in which he had three consecutive double-doubles—that’s 10 or more points and 10 or more rebounds in the same game—culminating with a season-high 22 points in the Haybalers’ 56-46 win over Santa Clara on Dec. 22.
“Josh is playing really strong on the boards and defensively,” Balers coach Mike Baumgartner said. “We’re utilizing his quickness and he’s starting to play the way we thought he could play. It’s great considering we weren’t even expecting him to be here.”
Ramos’ game has been on the upswing ever since he started playing for the Spring Grove basketball team as an eighth grader.
“It was pretty much the first time ever I touched a basketball,” Ramos said. “I grew up playing baseball, but in the eighth grade, a friend said I should try out for the basketball team. I didn’t play much that year, but once I made the freshmen team (at San Benito), I started realizing that maybe I could get good at it. I kept on practicing hard and kept on getting better, and I was excited to see how much I was improving.”
Ramos became a starter last year, but his season was limited by injuries. In the second week of the season in the Palma Tournament, Ramos suffered a sprained ankle, sidelining him for a couple of weeks. When Ramos returned, he got elbowed in the mouth, knocking half of one of his front teeth out.
Ramos had so much adrenaline going at that point that he didn’t realize part of his tooth tore off.
“So I just put water in my mouthpiece and went back in the game,” he said. “I ended up going to the dentist the next day to get a temporary filling, and after that I ended up getting a crown.”
San Benito, which entered the week with a 2-8 record, has had the misfortune of being undermanned again after its best player, Shraee Harrison, suffered a hand injury that will most likely saddle him for at least three weeks. A couple of other factors have depleted the roster as well.
Ramos has been one of the few bright spots in a down season, scoring the majority of his points off putbacks and on the fast break, when he often outraces his opponents to a certain spot on the floor.
Ramos’ passion for the game has translated into a strong work ethic, which in turn has led to marked improvement.
“In the first couple of years playing, I used to have my eyes down when I dribbled the ball,” he said. “People around me showed me things and gave me advice, and I gathered all that information and put it to use.”
Baumgartner has seen Ramos grow in every facet of the game.
“He adds a lot of athleticism to the team,” Baumgartner said. “There was a two or three-game stretch where I don’t think he came off the floor one time. He’s been pretty valuable for us.”

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