Scottie Reynolds is gone now. He has left the Northern Region's gymnasiums behind. They are now only a part of his past — one that is so much more important than all the awards or games he played in.
Reynolds, a six-foot guard who led Herndon to a 25-5 record and Virginia High School League AAA state runner-up finish en route to being named the Northern Region's first McDonald's All-American in 13 years, is learning a new path — literally.
He's driving around the inner-city in Philadelphia, where he just finished playing a summer league game in order to prepare for college basketball at Villanova University. He's making sure to make all the right turns through the city so as not to get lost as he reflects on his high school career — one of the best in recent Virginia high school history.
"I wouldn’t change anything that happened," said Reynolds. When asked about his career, his winning spirit and competitive nature take him right to thoughts of losing the AAA state title in March. "I wouldn’t change anything that happened, anything that happened. I'm glad that it happened. I'm glad I left a little legacy, I guess."
He is on new ground now, but the common ground — a basketball court which carried him through adolescence, through a move to Chicago — where he honed his hoops skills — and through a four-year career in which he hoisted himself into Virginia basketball immortality. It won't be uncommon for Reynolds to be practicing on that court more than he's supposed to be, or at least more than others. Those at Villanova that don't know him yet will find it awkward at first, but they will learn, just like Northern Region fans learned. Extra practice is something Reynolds has always been accustomed to. It was the sudden and spontaneous empty gym practices at any time of the day, which Reynolds, who was rumored to have the key to Herndon's gym in his possession since he was old enough to drive, used to elevate his game.
"That gym is, like, sacred. If I get mad and need to get away, I just go to the gym. I like being by myself. I like working out by myself," Reynolds said in a December interview with The Connection.
One loss will not define Reynolds — a man amongst boys, who, as a young boy was given up for adoption and found his way to athletic success and to a full scholarship with a major Div. I university. "One step closer to my dream," said Reynolds, who has had his eye on the National Basketball Association ever since he can remember.
REYNOLDS' LEGACY, or "little legacy" as he called it, is much more than little. He averaged 28.4 points per game, 4.5 assists, and 4.0 steals per game as a senior helping Herndon to its first Northern Region title in head coach Gary Hall's 17 years at Herndon. He was a three-time first team All-State selection and was the State Player of the Year as a senior. He was the Northern Region's three-time Player of the Year earning the honor every season since his sophomore year — his first year as a starter at Herndon. It took Reynolds only four seasons to record 2,033 points to pass Randy Dodson as Herndon's all-time leading scorer (Nov. 26, 2005). He is also Herndon's record holder for points scored in a single game (53 points against I.C. Norcom, Jan 22, 2005).
Reynolds passed Duke star and recent NBA draft pick J.J. Reddick (Cave Spring 1999-2002) for 16th all-time in scoring in the state of Virginia this past season.
"I always feel a bit more comfortable when No. 3 has the ball in his hands," Hall would often say after games in which, Reynolds, clad in his Herndon red and black No. 3 jersey, would dominate opponents.
This past postseason ride was very comfortable for Herndon and Hall as Reynolds had the ball in his hands a lot.
Reynolds dropped 33 points in the 76-55 victory over rival South Lakes, including five three-pointers, in front of a sold out crowd at his last home game before helping Herndon past T.C. Williams and Marshall for the regional title and into the state playoffs.
The regional title was special for Reynolds and Hall, who had aimed for the title since their days spent together in youth league hoops. In fact, Reynolds had guaranteed Hall that they would win that title before he graduated. "It doesn't make you any better of a coach, but I guess what it does, it validates you and I guess something you can tell your kids about," Hall told the Connection after the 65-47 victory over Marshall at George Mason University's Patriot Center.
Thrilling wins over Highland Springs and T.C. Williams pushed Reynolds and the Hornets into the state championship which they lost to Booker T. Washington 55-51, continuing the 25-year state title drought for Northern Region teams. In four years, Reynolds led Herndon to an 88-18 record and three Concorde District championships as well as one Northern Region championship.
Reynolds, who could have easily played at any private school in the area, chose to stay in the Northern Region, partly because of the close relationship he had with Hall — his youth coach. "Now every coach can point to Scottie Reynolds and say 'look,'" Hall told the Connection in the 2005 preseason. Reynolds is proof that a talented hoops star can climb into the ranks of Div. I basketball out of the Northern Region.
BUT HIS RIDE TO Villanova was not as smooth as he had thought it would be when he committed to play for Oklahoma University coach Kelvin Sampson in the spring of his junior year. Just a week after Reynolds and the Hornets lost the state championship game, Sampson left Oklahoma for Indiana's coaching job, leaving Reynolds to look elsewhere for his collegiate future. After a long re-recruiting period in which Villanova, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, Wake Forest and Louisiana State were all serious contenders, Reynolds decided in late May to accept a full scholarship with Villanova University and is currently between summer workouts and summer school.
"Every time you come into a new place, they have expectations for you," said Reynolds of his chances at breaking the starting lineup. "You have to go through and show that you are working out and giving it your all. They can't promise you anything. If somebody promises you something, then they are lying to you."
A 'Shoe' In
Reynolds, who often missed high school games to attend church services, always put his religion before basketball. "I've missed games for it," Reynolds told the Connection in the preseason of his senior year. "God's first in my life, first and foremost. Then it's my family. And then there's basketball."
Reynolds' team shoes during his senior year at Herndon were clad with biblical messages including this one: "I will liken him to a wise man who built his home on the rock."
Scottie Reynolds is 31 in a survey of the area's Top 100 Athletes by Connection Newspapers in 2000.