MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Growing up in West Virginia, Chase Harler dreamed of playing basketball at West Virginia University and now he is living his dream.
Harler signed with the Mountaineers last November. He averaged 24.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game as a senior and 24.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 blocks per game as a junior.
The Wheeling Central alum was a three-time All-OVAC First Team selection and a three-time West Virginia First Team All-State selection. He set the school record for career points in his junior year and helped the Knights win a 2014 state championship and a runner-up finish in 2015.
During his high school career, dropping threes were no problem for Harler. Some of the many reasons it was an easy decision for WVU head coach Bob Huggins and his coaching staff to make the 6-foot-3, 200-pound freshman’s dreams come true.
While the transition from high school to college isn’t the easiest, Harler is determined to prove his worth.
“The adjustment has been pretty hard,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to go to WVU. I knew it was always going to be a challenge and it was a dream come true. Now, I am living that dream so I have to continue to work hard.”
And Harler put on a show for his local supporters during the Mountaineers’ Gold-Blue Debut last week. The Moundsville native scored seven points on 3-of-5 shooting.
It was something Harler will never forget.
“It was probably one of the coolest moments when I ran out and they said my name and everybody was going crazy,” he said. “That was the greatest feeling in the world.”
While Harler is doing a good job, he knows that there is still a lot of work to do.
“Just continue working on my shooting, be more consistent,” Harler said about what he needs to continue working on. “Just staying in the gym and whatever happens, happens.”
Huggins believes time is the guard’s friend.
“He hasn’t shot the ball great but he’s played really well,” Huggins said after the Gold-Blue debut. “He’s played really hard. He picks things up quickly. I think defensively in the press, he’s going to be really good for us. I think he just has to get more comfortable like all those young guys. But it’s tough to get comfortable.”
That shouldn’t take long for Harler to feel at home with his WVU teammates.
“It’s a family,” he said. “It really is. It’s fun. We have a lot of fun.”
In fact, Harler’s teammates and coaches have been very helpful during the adjustment process, especially Huggins.
“(He tells me to) be confident when I shoot,” Harler said. “Sometimes I think about it too much.”
One thing is for certain; Harler is going to fight to earn minutes.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS