(Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
Chase Cormier graduated last spring from Milford Mill with a legacy of championships and individual honors, but not a single Division I scholarship. But despite his surprising lack of college of options, the 6-foot, 170-pound point guard said he never worried about eventually landing an offer.
“I knew it was a matter of time,” Cormier said. “As soon as I made my announcement to go to prep school, I started getting phone calls from coaches.”
Cormier’s thoughts about recruiting were proven correct earlier this month when the Grambling State coaches scouted him at his Fishburne (Va.) Military Academy practice and offered him a scholarship. The former Millers star signed his letter of intent to play for the Tigers this week.
“It feels like a relief,” said Cormier, who was also recruited by Rider. “Division I, that’s always been my dream since the ninth grade. It’s an accomplishment.”
Former Millers coach Al Holley – now in his first year as Friends’ boys basketball coach – always thought Cormier was a DI talent. But it was just a matter of finding the right fit.
“I was a little surprised considering the level of success we had and what a big part of that he was,” Holley said. “But what I know about Baltimore is that it’s a lot of hype. If you’re not part of that hype, sometimes you can get lost in the shuffle. He got caught in that, but in the end you can’t hide talent.”
Cormier joined Holley’s Crusader Nation squad on the circuit for the beginning of last spring’s session. Once Cormier landed a spot on Fishburne’s powerhouse post-grad team, he stopped playing summer ball and started training for his prep year. With Fishburne, Cormier has gotten the chance to run the team and be one of its captains.
“He’s a true point guard, and that’s hard to come by,” Holley said. “He’s got a real good feel for the game. He’s got a big chip on his shoulder, which helps.”
At Grambling, which finished 4-24 last season, Cormier will be tasked with leading the Tigers back to prominence in the SWAC.
“They expect me to come in and … turn their program around,” Cormier said. “It’s kind of a down program with new coaches there. [I’m] trying to make them rise as a program.”
Cormier, the younger brother of Loyola guard and former Cardinal Gibbons star Dylon Cormier, will make his first visit to Grambling this weekend. He said he’s excited for the rest of his post-grad year at Fishburne, and to take over as the Tigers’ floor general next fall.
“I hope to liven up their [team] and bring more [excitement] to the basketball team,” Cormier said. “I know in the league they’re in the bottom of the division. I’m trying to bring some joy there and build their program up and take them to the Big Dance.”