Former Pearl River All-American Brandon Rachal signs NBA contract
Former Pearl River standout Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches.; Natchitoches Central) has found a home at the professional level after signing a contract with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
“I can’t be more proud for Brandon and his family,” Pearl River coach Chris Oney said. “I know he will continue to work hard to achieve his ultimate goal.”
Rachal transferred to Pearl River from LSU ahead of the 2018-19 season and made an immediate impact. The 6-foot-6, 218-pound guard averaged 15.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists while leading the Wildcats to a 26-4 overall record and the program’s first-ever NJCAA Tournament berth.
Just qualifying for the Hutchinson, Kansas, based tournament wasn’t enough for Rachal and the 11-seeded Wildcats. Pearl River overcame a sluggish start in the opener to topple Williston State 83-69 before falling in the Sweet 16.
“It’s been a long year, a successful year. We made history. We fought all season. I wouldn’t trade this team for nothing in the world,” Rachal said following the 2018-19 season. “It didn’t end how we wanted, but it was a great season and hopefully we set a standard for the teams in the years to come.”
Rachal was rewarded for his impressive season and was named an NJCAA All-American as well as earning a spot on the All-Region 23 Tournament and All-Region 23 teams. He also earned MACJC Player of the Week honors three times and was named the NJCAA Player of the Week once.
“Believe it or not, I think Brandon helped us more off the court than on the court,” Oney said. “He was a good teammate during practice and being locked in on film,” Oney said of Rachal during his signing ceremony in April 2019. “I think our guys fed off that. On the court he was a guy that would make all the plays that we needed him to make.”
Rachal echoed Oney’s sentiments.
“It was a fun year for me. Not even just basketball-wise. I came in and got offers and was in the position I wanted to be in coming to JUCO, but the best thing about coming to Pearl River was the relationships I made with my teammates,” Rachal said. “These are going to be lifelong relationships. I look at these dudes like brothers and that’s the most important thing to me.”
Rachal went on to sign with the University of Tulsa, where he continued his standout play. A two-year letterwinner, Rachal started 52 of 53 games he appeared in for the Golden Hurricane. During his two-year career with Tulsa, Rachal averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, collecting 11 double-doubles.
Rachal was named to the 2020-21 American Athletic Conference’s second team following his senior season where he averaged 15.0 points and 7.2 rebounds.
Although Rachal wasn’t selected in the 2021 NBA Draft, Rachal quickly latched on with the Brooklyn Nets.
Rachal got a taste of what it’s like to be a professional this summer, playing on the Nets’ Summer League team in Las Vegas, Nevada.The Long Island Nets open their season Nov. 6 against the Delaware Blue Coats.
The PRCC men’s program is set to begin its 2021-22 season Nov. 1 as the Wildcats host William Carey at 6 p.m.
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