Chase Connor isn’t the biggest name on the West Virginia roster, but he has heart and has made a difference on the court for the Mountaineers the last two seasons.
Connor was born in Winchester, Va., but his family moved to Shady Spring when he was three years old.
Growing up, Connor dreamed of donning the old gold and blue one day. It was a dream that became a reality in 2013 when he joined the Mountaineers as a preferred walk-on.
“As a kid, it’s kind of like a dream,” Connor said. “Any kid just wants to play – they see the big time WVU, they want to play for them and as I got older, it became a reality to me that I’d possibly have a chance to play there.”
Connor passed up 12 scholarship offers from Division-I programs to play basketball for his home school. Originally he committed to play at Radford, but then decommitted after a broken leg left him reconsidering his future.
In his first season with the Mountaineers, the 6-foot-1 guard saw limited action. He appeared in 12 games, where he averaged 1 point a game and 4.3 minutes of playing time.
While Connor’s freshman campaign wasn’t the flashiest, he came up big in key games. All of Connor’s points last season came from beyond-the-arc, earning him the title of the three-point specialist. The Shady Spring native had his best game last season against the TCU Horned Frogs, scoring nine points on 3-of-4 shooting.
Players like Connor are expected to be used in blowouts but the sophomore has found himself playing at crucial
times for the Mountaineers this season. Head coach Bob Huggins called upon Connor in the overtime battle against TCU on January 24.
While Connor still has room to improve, he has come a long way in just one year. He is averaging 2.8 points per game in 6.3 minutes of playing time.
“I feel like I’ve gotten better,” he said. “I still got to learn more, which spots to be on the floor when people drive. And defense, I definitely got to get better at that.”
Coming off the bench isn’t an easy task, but Connor realizes his role on a team where everyone plays a different role and has contributed in this season’s success.
The 20-year-old Connor finds success in listening to the coaches and doing what is asked of him. He shows up every day ready to play.
“I get my mind ready no matter what, Connor said. “I go into every game thinking I am going to play so that I am ready if I do or I don’t.”
At the end of the day, Connor may not be the player leading the stats sheet, but he does his job by putting up the threes and working hard to earn playing time.