As one of the top players in the area, Northridge senior Nate Ritchie receives plenty of "love" from opposing fans.
"I probably can't even say some of the stuff," Ritchie says of the constant vitriol. "A lot of hate, comments and stuff. It's all in fun."
"In some ways that's a sign of respect," Raiders' head coach Ronnie Thomas adds. "They know you're good and they want to get after you."
Ritchie has certainly earned all that attention. The forward leads the 10-2 Raiders in scoring and rebounding with a versatile game both in the paint and on the outside.
"If they put somebody a little bit bigger on him he can move around him. He can move that guy and get open shots," says Thomas. "If they put somebody smaller, he has the ability to go down low and score over him."
"He's just a matchup nightmare for teams. And he's playing really well right now."
Ritchie is receiving plenty of Division I interest and looks at athletics as a path to his future. He is an excellent student and wants to go to medical school, with a focus in orthopedics.
"Most interesting one is from University of Toledo," Ritchie says of the Mid-American Conference school. "That is also a great medical school. That is up high on my list right now."
First though, he has his senior season to finish. Northridge has not won a sectional title since 2004.
"Basketball has kind of made me cherish everything," says Ritchie. "You never know how long you're going to be able to play. I feel like that's something that's going to effect me throughout my whole life. Just don't take anything for granted and always play to the best of your ability."