Louie Wild carrying on family legacy at Roman

Like father, like son: Louie Wild is following in his father’s footsteps of being a star athlete at Roman Catholic High School as his father coaches him.

Louie (left) and Mike Wild show off the Catholic League championship. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Louie Wild has gotten a lot from his parents.

He’s gotten all the support a kid could ask for, but he’s also gotten other things that help him on the basketball court.

He’s got the genes.

Wild is a junior guard on the Roman Catholic High School basketball team.

His mom, Debbie, was a star athlete at St. Hubert’s before a pair of ACL injuries derailed her career.

And as much as he’s like his mom on the court, he’s following directly in his dad’s footsteps.

Mike Wild won two Catholic League championships while playing at Roman before graduating in 2000.

Now the head assistant coach at Roman, his father also had successful college stints, first at Division I Elon University and later at Holy Family University.

The Wild boys mostly play the same positions — primarily point guards with the ability to move to the wing — and while their games are different, they are both enjoying the same success in purple jerseys.

“I watched one of his games when he played Camden from when he was in high school,” said Louie, who recently helped the Cahillites win the Catholic League championship and currently have them battling it out for a Class 6A state championship. “I don’t know how much I play like him, I think I play more like my mom, but I get a lot from both of them.”

He’s always getting tips from his dad. And his dad is doing his best to make sure his son’s team has even more success than his did in high school.

Louie, a Mayfair resident and St. Matt’s graduate, transferred to Roman from Academy of the New Church before the school year, and since he arrived, he’s been a big contributor to the team.

A capable scorer, Louie’s biggest impact on the team is playing point guard and serving as a lockdown defender. He also has a knack for scoring points in big spots, which helps complement the Cahillites, who are led by Seth Lundy, Lynn Greer, Allen Betrand and Hakim Hart.

But he’s not too concerned about what his numbers are, he’s just worried about how many championships he has when he leaves Roman.

The goal is going 2-for-2 in Catholic League crowns, and he’s well on his way to collecting a Class 6A state championship. Roman defeated Central Bucks West 75–56 to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. The Cahillites will play Pine-Richland in a state semifinal. No date was announced because of the bad weather.

Louie did his usual hustle and bustle while draining a pair of three-pointers en route to six points.

“This year, the Catholic League was really good, but I thought we would win because we have so many good players,’ Louie said. “Every night, you’d play a team that was good. That’s the biggest difference between playing for ANC and Roman. At ANC, unless we were playing Shipley or Westtown, we weren’t playing top competition. In the Catholic League, just about every night you’re going up against a Division I player.

“I like Roman, the school is good, but the best part is the competition. The Catholic League is so good, you get better when you play against better competition and the Catholic League has really good competition on just about every team.”

Barring changes, Roman returns the bulk of this year’s team next year, so the team should have everything it needs to repeat. For Louie, that’s the main goal. His dad is hoping for that and even more.

“He’s a better player than I was,” Mike said. “He gets a lot of his toughness from his mom, and he doesn’t really play like me. He plays his own way. He’s very unselfish, he really doesn’t care what he needs to do to get the team to win. He’ll give the ball up, he’ll sacrifice his own stats, he’s a winner. He just wants to win.”

Louie is every coach’s’ dream, but that doesn’t mean the father-son duo sees eye to eye all the time.

“The other coaches love everything about him and so do I, but I just see how good he could be if, at times, I don’t want to say he was less unselfish, but he’s happy to let others be happy,” Mike said of his son. “If they want to take the shots, he’s happy doing the other things, which as a coach you like to see.”

“I’m learning a lot, not just from my dad, but from all the coaches here,” Louie said. “The coaches here are great, and so are my teammates. I’m becoming a better basketball player here. I’m working on things, like my shot, and other things. I feel like I can always get better and they help me.”

The better he gets, the better the Cahillites will get.

They’re headed to the semifinals of the state tournament, so two more wins and he’ll hang a another banner.

“I’m having a lot of fun, I’m really happy I came here,” Louie said. “Roman is a great school and playing here is great, especially when we’re winning.”

Like father, like son.