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St. Patrick's Royale Ewig (25) after scoring during their game against St. Joseph in the Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Challenge on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at Loyola Academy. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media
The book on Royale Ewing used to be to play off of him and not allow him to use his quickness and speed to blow by.
The 6-3 St. Patrick senior guard knew he had to diversify his game in order to broaden his impact. Last summer Ewing spent time working on his speed and agility, and equally important, on his perimeter skill set.
The results have been startling.
“He’s still an off-the-dribble guy but the difference this year is he has really improved his perimeter shot and that’s really opened up his game,” St. Patrick coach Mike Bailey said. “One of my assistant coaches, Dominic Cannon, has really worked with him on his shot, his mechanics and footwork, and it has really paid off.”
Ewing is averaging 20 points and four assists for the 11-3 Shamrocks who are off to a 2-0 start in the loaded East Suburban Catholic Conference. He scored a team-high 18 points in St. Patrick’s 62-54 victory over Fenwick on Saturday.
For his achievements, Ewing is the Chicago Sun-Times Athlete of the Week.
Ewing has been a varsity player since his freshman year and is a three-year starter. He praised the work of Cannon, a former head coach at Prospect and York, for helping to refine his shot.
“Coach Cannon isn’t the type of coach who tries to change your form or shot,” Ewing said. “It’s been more about helping with the wrinkles of my shot. He really pushed me last summer to put a lot of shots up, saying the more you put up, the more that will go in.”
The improved jumper makes him all the more dangerous. “I want to be more multidimensional,” he said.
Ewing forms a devastating one-two punch with senior guard Elijah Watson.
“We’ve been together since the eighth grade, and once I knew I was coming to St. Patrick, I told him to come here, too. We just have a really good chemistry on the floor and know how to play off each other,” Ewing said of Watson.
He said he has garnered considerable interest from Division I schools, though he declined to name them. “Right now I’m just focused on helping St. Patrick,” he said.
His growth is a progression from having started on the varsity since the end of his freshman year.
“It’s not like I didn’t in the past, but definitely this year I’m taking things a lot more seriously,” he said. “I realize this is my last year, and I haven’t thought yet of when the last game might be, but I’m definitely more focused on being a leader and helping my teammates out.”