The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 14, 2013

Connor bound for Morgantown

Shady Spring senior will walk on at WVU

On Saturday night, Shady Spring High School senior Chase Connor had a chance to play with four future Mountaineer basketball players. On Sunday, he got an opportunity to join the club.

Connor — the leading scorer in Class AAA this season, averaging 27 points per game — received a call from WVU assistant coach Larry Harrison Sunday afternoon telling him he had an offer on the table to join the West Virginia University team as a preferred walk-on. The offer came just hours after the 6-foot-1 sharpshooter scored nine points at the Scott Brown Memorial Classic, playing on the Little General All-Stars with WVU signees Devin Williams, Elijah Macon, Nathan Adrian and Brandon Watkins.

“I just told him thank you and that I accept it,” said Connor, the all-time leading scorer in Shady Spring High School history. “I was really happy and really excited.

“Twitter has been going crazy.”

Connor had originally committed to Radford, but after breaking his leg in August, he said he put things in perspective and realized that’s not what he wanted to do. So he stepped away from that commitment and began considering other offers.

About halfway through his senior season with the Tigers — when Connor was putting up point totals usually reserved for video games, and it was clear that the broken leg was not going to change his level of play — Connor began talking to WVU. Those conversations quickly progressed, and Connor took a visit to Morgantown for the Texas Tech game and came away impressed.

“I’ve always been a fan,” said Connor. “I’ve liked them since I was little.”

Walking on with the Mountaineers moved to the top of Connor’s list of collegiate destinations, but he had to sweat it out a little before finally getting the offer on Sunday.

“I had an uneasy feeling about it, because time was running out,” said Connor. “But when (Harrison) called (Sunday), it made everything feel better.”

Connor said he still needs to get stronger and faster, and work on a quicker release, but after playing on the same team as other future Mountaineers — and against commitments from Baylor, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and others — he’s confident he can have an impact on the college level.

“Of course, I need to keep working and get better, but I feel like I can contribute,” said Connor, who said he doesn’t even think about the leg anymore. “Hopefully, I can eventually get the opportunity to get a scholarship.

“They had a rough season this year (at WVU) and I hope I can help get it turned around.”

— E-mail: chuffman@ and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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