Written by SportsDayDFW.com
With drums and on court, Coppell senior makes beautiful music
Editor's note: This story originally ran on February 10, 2012.
COPPELL — Coach Brad Chasteen saw what most everyone else saw of the lanky post on the Coppell freshman A-team. That Jett Raines was too meek. That he had a musician’s mind, soul and body, incapable of the intensity and love needed to master the game of basketball.
Three years later, Raines sees what everyone else sees, including the college recruiters. That Raines is more than a drummer or Young Life participant or jump-shooter. That the senior Coppell forward is something special.
That, really, you can’t even see the full picture yet but you know that once it develops, it’s going to brim in high-def, as lively and diverse as the interests already composing the whole.
Sophomore year. Raines was 6-5 or so. And he had played basketball for years, just never that seriously. It was a game. Music was something else.
Back in fifth grade, he picked up the guitar and bass. Some of his friends were playing, and one of their older brothers was part of a band. Early in high school, his Young Life club needed a drummer for some songs, so Raines took up the drums.
Raines was soon proficient in three instruments, and he and three friends — Stuart Leach, Matthew Lancaster and Jeff McQuitty — formed the band Seastroke. Raines would play drums.
Raines studied videos and listened to drummers from Mars Volta and gospel songs. He dreamed one day of getting accepted at the California Berkeley or Belmont music school.
Over the next two years, their indie-pop group would make an EP and play at venues like The Loft, The Door and Prophet Bar.
“People I hung out with would be talking about music and they’d be playing,” Raines said, “so I kind of took on that lifestyle.”
Just before his junior year, Raines played in an AAU tournament with most of his Coppell teammates. He doesn’t know why it happened, but that weekend he started hustling with greater energy, driving the ball to the basket more often and scoring. Something had changed.
As a sophomore, he was on and off the varsity. As a junior, he averaged 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds and was named co-MVP of District 7-5A.
His intensity had heightened to different levels. One game, he had seven dunks. Chasteen used to consider it a novelty when Raines scored back-to-back baskets, but this year against Duncanville he scored 32 points, with Chasteen not even realizing the amount.
Raines’ interest in the game increased, and he started working for it, to the point where he is being recruited by several Division I teams. His love of music, his range of activity away from basketball, has perhaps made him a better player and college prospect.
Chasteen estimates that Raines has tapped maybe 25 percent of his potential. He is not like the prototypical high-level prospect who has played hundreds of games annually since grade school.
“We created a monster,” Chasteen said. “We play so much basketball and put so much emphasis on sports in Texas that it can be counterproductive if you carry it too far, so I think it’s cool that he has such a neat interest.”
Raines plans to sign with a Division I basketball school later this spring, not making a choice regarding a music major but instead for basketball and academics. He’ll always play, though.
Seastroke still plans to finish a full-length album and might even get together when all the band members are on break for some future performances.
Music is part of Raines’ life, part of the whole picture, and often when he finishes a game or a practice, he goes upstairs into a room next to the attic and picks up his guitar or drum sticks, playing late into the night.
Jett Raines, Coppell, 6-8 senior
Basketball: Averages 17.2 points (third best in the 5A area) and 9.3 rebounds. Has offers from UT-Arlington and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and interest from several other Division I schools.
Music: Plays drums for Seastroke, an Indie-pop band comparable to Vampire Weekend. Their EP Outside Into Eyes is available on ITunes.