It’s not often that a basketball player like Steven Pratt comes around. Someone that has the rare ability to score the basketball, dish out assists, and be a coach on the court.
In his fifth year at Sonoma State, Pratt has become the unquestioned leader of the men’s basketball team and arguably its best player from the point guard position.
One of Pratt’s biggest supporters is his coach, who is thankful for everything he has done for the school.
“Steven Pratt is a premier player who has earned the right to take over this team; he is my go to guy for everything,” said Fuscaldo. “He is in the upper group of players I have ever coached.”
During one game this season, the Seawolves were so depleted by injuries that Fuscaldo had Pratt play power forward because he knew that he was the one player he could rely on to play any position.
“I put Pratt down low because he is experienced and been on this team for a long time so he knows where every single position is supposed to be at all times,” said Fuscaldo.
Pratt was born and raised in San Francisco and lived there until he was in sixth grade when he moved to Pleasanton, where he has lived ever since. He began playing basketball when he was just four years old at his local YMCA, and grew up playing in both CYO and AAU leagues. But what really inspired Pratt to continue his playing career after high school was his brother, who also played collegiately and convinced Steven to play in college.
When it came time to decide where he wanted to play his college ball, Sonoma State was always at the top of his list and ultimately an easy decision for him to make.
“I really liked the campus and location,” said Pratt. “It’s only an hour and 20 minutes away from my house so my family and friends would be able to see me play which was really important. The coaching staff did a great job recruiting me and I really liked the culture of the team.”
What the coaching staff didn’t know at the time was that they were recruiting one of the greatest players to ever step on the court at SSU.
Earlier this season Pratt surpassed Antoine Woods as the all time assists leader in school history. Woods had held the record of 305 for 17 years before Pratt surpassed him on December 19th against Chico State. Just under a month after breaking the all time assists record, Pratt became only the 11th player in SSU history to record 1,000 points in a career.
“I feel like it is a great accomplishment,” said Pratt. “The hard work I have put in over the past five years here at SSU was a result of these accomplishments. To be recognized amongst a great group of players in the history of SSU basketball is a great feeling.”
While in hindsight it would be easy to look back and say that he had always expected to have a successful college career, Pratt wasn’t sure what to expect when he stepped on the SSU campus.
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming here,” said Pratt. “My brother joked to me about being in the record books one day, but I never imagined it would actually happen. The coaching staff and players put me in great positions to succeed so I have to pay attribute to them for the success I have had here.”
Personal accomplishments aren’t as important to Pratt as how the team is playing, however, and he is happy with how the season is going but is hungry for more.
“We started off very slow and weren’t all on the same page,” said Pratt. “However, we found our chemistry after the Chico State win at home and have not looked back since. We have won 10 of our last 12 and five straight, it’s been a great ride and we’re all looking to continue this for the remainder of the season.”
As the season begins to wind down, Pratt realizes this will be his last chance to reach his goal of playing in the NCAA tournament and having a dream season.
“The perfect ending would be a league championship and a birth in the NCAA tournament,” said Pratt. “It would be a dream come true to play in the tournament, so I’m going to try my best to get us there.”
Whenever his college career does come to an end, one thing is for sure, Pratt definitely wants to pursue a career in basketball after graduation and play for as long as he can.
“I’m going to look into playing overseas and continue a career as long as I can,” said Pratt. “If the opportunity is right and I can find a team that wants me, I’m open to playing anywhere in the country.”
When his basketball does end, the Business Administration major has a job at an accounting firm that he has interned at the past four summers waiting for him.
Hopefully for Pratt and the SSU basketball team, however, he still has a long time before his college career is finished and he can take the team he has worked so hard for over the past five years and lead them into the playoffs.