Riley Battin: District of Choice varsity basketball player

Many students may be affected by District of Choice decision

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Oak Park junior Riley Battin may be forced to return to his home school district, Conejo Valley Unified, due to the suspension of the District of Choice program.
Battin entered Oak Park Unified School District through the DOC lottery system as a freshman. Previously, he attended Colina Middle school in Thousand Oaks.

“[Oak Park] set me up to succeed. They’ve put the tools there for people to succeed in sports, athletics and academics. So I guess they set up a foundation for anything you want to do,” Battin said.

Since his freshman year, Battin has been playing on the varsity basketball team.

“I love [being on the team]. It’s what I do everyday. It’s kinda my life,” Battin said.

Forming bonds with his teammates, Battin said he regards them as “a second family.”

“We’re all really close,” Battin said. “Everyone plays for each other; it’s kind of like a brotherhood.”

Apart from winning state championships, Battin said his goal is to break the school’s current record of points in a single player’s varsity career. The current record is 2,050 points held by Ron Lee Jr. who graduated in 2013. Battin currently has 1462 points, just 588 away from breaking the record.

“I’ll break it this year and I’ll have all of next year to build on it,” Battin said.

Keep playing for the team — that’s the main goal. Leaving just wouldn’t be fair,”

— Riley Battin

In addition to his teammates, Battin said his coaches have also had a major impact on his life.

“They’ve helped me grow not only as a player but as a person too,” Battin said. “I feel like I learn lessons, on and off the court, from all the coaches on the staff. I think it’s really important not only for me, but everyone on the team.”

Battin is a nationally ranked basketball player and has received numerous scholarship offers from schools across the country. Oak Park’s rigorous academics and competitive sports programs provide a balanced education for students like Battin.

“The teachers are great. They help the students whenever they can; they do the best job they can. It’s a good environment,” Battin said. “It’s like the best of both worlds.”

With the termination of the District of Choice program, Battin would be required to transfer out of OPUSD for his senior year, leaving his school and his team.

“It wouldn’t be fair for people who have been here to leave,” Battin said. “I don’t know what I would do. Keep playing for the team — that’s the main goal. Leaving just wouldn’t be fair.”

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