Raul Ordonez from the Class of 1942 arrived at Ridley in 1940 following in the footsteps of his older brother José. From Havana, Cuba, and a former classmate of Fidel Castro, Raul quickly established himself as an athlete with promise. While at Ridley, Raul “Rails” Ordonez was a great contributor to the swim and boxing teams, but he saved some of his best performances for the basketball court. Today, Ridley’s basketball team is distinguished as one of our ‘premiere sports’. Basketball’s gradual evolution is due in part to the work of players like Raul, who took one of the lesser known Canadian sports and helped elevate it to a competitive team experience that was a delight to watch. Beyond the Ridley gates, Raul continued to play basketball and went on to represent Cuba in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games.
“Raul Ordonez was the real ‘spark plug’’ of the team. His shooting, unselfish passing and general play-making marked him as one of the best and most effective players ever seen at Ridley.” – Acta Ridleiana Easter, 1942