By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
A life without basketball?
Delilah Rahe is not interested in thinking about it.
In fact, she struggles to find the words to describe what her life would be like without her favorite sport.
Fortunately, thanks to her third-grade self, she doesn’t have to find the words.
By the age of 4, Rahe was playing soccer.
Basketball, though, wouldn’t come until later.
Almost five more years later.
Once she was introduced to the sport, however, it quickly took hold of her heart.
And it has never let go.
Now a junior at Field High School, Rahe has become a mainstay amongst the top-tier talent inside the Metro Athletic Conference.
After emerging as a freshman phenom in 2021-22, Rahe is now nearing the 1,000-point scoring milestone and has already pulled down more than 500 career rebounds.
Quite a journey for a girl who initially shied away from the sport.
“I remember my parents would ask me every year if I wanted to sign up, and I don’t think I ever had a specific reason not to play. I just didn’t, and they have never pushed me into anything I didn’t want to do.”
But when her good friend Mckayla Miller, still a teammate to this day across multiple sports, asked her to come to a summer basketball camp with her just to try the sport is when everything changed.
“Every shot I took banged off the backboard so hard. I was not very good, but looking back, I think that is when I can say that I started to love basketball.”
That was the summer leading into Rahe’s third-grade school year and she began her first season just a few months later playing for her friend Mckayla’s dad Mike Miller, who was a Field youth girls basketball coach.
With each passing season, Rahe, alongside many of her teammates that help fill out a junior-heavy roster for this year’s Falcons, began to learn the details of the game.
“I just remember talking to her about trying basketball,” Mike Miller said. “She was friends with so many of the players we had already. Once she got onto the court, she fit in with us right away and she has always been hard working and humble.”
The left-handed standout has been described as a “one-of-one” talent.
A strong compliment, but understandable considering her ability to take over a game and dominate opponents without allowing herself to have an attitude that places her above her team and teammates.
“Just watching the player that she has become has been amazing. She has so much passion for whatever she does. But as great of a player she is, she is truly an even better person. She has a great heart and is the most unselfish kid I know. She does not want to be the star, she wants the team to be the star.”
As a freshman, Rahe averaged 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Those numbers jumped last year during her sophomore year to 18.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. She led all players in Portage County with 168 made field goals and 111 free throws (35 more than the next player). She was also top 10 in Portage County for steals (2.8 per game) and blocked shots (33).
Like any good player, though, the numbers were just numbers to Rahe. They told the story of a talented player, but she focused, in a healthy way, on the flaws in her game that she wanted to clean up for 2023-24.
“I worked on my outside shot, hitting a higher percentage of my 3-pointers, as well as working on becoming more comfortable attacking the basket with either hand,” said Rahe, who was also named First Team All-MAC in soccer this past fall and also plays football and softball. “I spend a lot of my free time playing basketball, so I would work on stuff a lot.”
A life with basketball.
Just the way Rahe wants it to be.
Spot-on article about an outstanding student-athlete! Having watched her development nearly every step of the way, she truly has earned her reputation as one of the best athletes in northeast ohio and beyond! In my opinion, when she graduates from Field in 2025, she will be considered the greatest single female athlete in FHS history.