By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary senior Chandler Cavell was ready to follow his brother and walk on at Seattle Pacific University until he met Austin Johnson, head coach at Corban University, late in the season.
And on Wednesday, April 11, Cavell signed with the Warriors.
“I like the coach a lot and being close to home was probably the biggest thing for me, just having a little bit of that security in my back pocket and going home and doing laundry and having my parents to support me,” Cavell said.
Johnson attended several of Cavell’s games late in the season as McNary finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak to win the Greater Valley Conference.
Cavell played in open gyms at Corban as well as toured the campus before making his decision.
“It was pretty tough for me to pick between there and Seattle Pacific but my family supported me through it all so that was nice,” Cavell said. “My parents are happy because it’s a lot closer so they can watch me.”
Chandler is the third Cavell sibling to play a sport in college after Madi and Harry went to Seattle Pacific to play volleyball and basketball. But Chandler never felt pressured to follow in their footsteps.
“My parents did a good job of not forcing me to going into one thing,” Cavell said. “They didn’t pressure me into getting a college basketball offer or anything like that. It was something I wanted to do.”
Cavell, who has played basketball for as long as he can remember, joined the Keizer Youth Basketball Association in the fourth grade and then began playing on tournament teams in middle school.
McNary head coach Ryan Kirch has known Cavell since he was in the fourth grade.
“I got the opportunity to watch him grow, not only as a player but as a person to the point where we’re at now, where he’s graduating,” Kirch said. “It’s been a real treat and joy. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with not just a great player but maybe even a better person.
“On the basketball floor he’s a great competitor and demands excellence out of himself and his teammates but he’s a guy who does it always with a smile on his face. I think he garners a lot of respect from his teammates with the way that he carries himself, not only on the basketball floor but in the classroom. When we look at how we want our players to represent our program and our school, Chandler is a perfect example of that. His parents have done a great job of raising him. The community has been great in supporting him and I couldn’t be happier for where he’s at.”
Cavell, who led the Celtics with 16.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game this season, was unanimously voted to the All-GVC First Team.
McNary finished the season 20-6, winning the Greater Valley Conference and advancing to the second round of the OSAA state playoffs.
“He has an incredibly high ceiling,” Kirch said. “I can’t wait to see how good he becomes. You wish you had one more year with him because you just know he’s going to get better and better.”