Springfield senior opts to play basketball at Spire Academy

Ra’Heim Moss, an exceptional two-sport senior at Springfield High School, said on Friday that he will play basketball next season at Spire Basketball Academy in Geneva, Ohio.

He was the last remaining high-profile area senior who had not verbally committed or signed for next season.

“I felt like this was a great opportunity and it would be the best place for me,” he said after announcing his decision on Twitter. “I can handle business and still make my city proud and do great things like I like to do.”

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Moss led Springfield’s basketball team in scoring each of the last two seasons. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder also was a key member of the football team, starting at outside linebacker as a junior and moving to quarterback as a senior.

He drew recruiting interest in both sports and at one time had offers from the University of Cincinnati to play football and basketball. According to 247SPORTS.com, Kentucky, Bowling Green, Ohio, Toledo and Eastern Kentucky also made football offers to him.

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Although he’ll play basketball only at Spire, he mentioned his recruiting for football is still open. Playing basketball at Spire will be classified as a post-graduate season for Moss and the equivalent of attending prep school for one year. Afterward, he could sign and have four seasons of eligibility.

“Being away from football is not going to be a concern because I have a natural ability,” he said. “If I choose that route down the road, I’ll be able to readjust myself. It shouldn’t be hard for me to get back into that sport.”

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Moss led Springfield (17-10) in scoring (17.9) and rebounding (7.3) this past basketball season and was second-team All-Ohio each of the last two seasons. The Wildcats tied Centerville for the Greater Western Ohio Conference National East title (both at 10-2) and were eliminated by the Elks in a Division I regional semifinal.

In football, Moss led Springfield to a 9-3 season last fall, a co-GWOC National East title with Wayne, and to a D-I regional semifinal appearance. That was Springfield’s best season since also going 9-3 in 2010. Moss threw for 1,237 yards and 10 touchdowns (six interceptions) and rushed for 542 yards and seven scores despite being limited in mobility after suffering a midseason ankle injury.

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He did not play defense as a senior, but likely will do so should he choose to pursue that sport.

Spire Institute, located at Ashtabula County in the upper northeast corner of the state, is a massive international training facility that opened in 2009. It’s geared toward high school and post-grad boys and girls in basketball, soccer, aquatics and track and field. Spire also is a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site.

The Spire boys basketball team has been a recent Flyin’ to the Hoop participant at Fairmont’s Trent Arena and had celebrated LaMelo Ball on the team this past season. Former Dunbar standouts Caleb McConnell (Rutgers) and DeVon Baker (UNC Asheville) transferred to Spire for their senior seasons in 2017-18.

Just last month The Plain Dealer reported Spire Institute was for sale. Among its issues were not enough potential spectator revenue because of the remote location. That appealed to Moss.

“It’s in the middle of nowhere and no distractions,” he said. “It’s going to be a good thing, too. It’ll help me focus on my ultimate goal and what I’m really trying to get to.”

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