Basketball pg 9 8-2-19


Chase Anderson, shown with the commemorative ball that he received after scoring his 1,000th career point for Woodstock Academy in February, will return to campus this fall as a postgraduate player. Photo contributed by The Woodstock Academy

Almost all of the students who walked across the stage during commencement ceremonies at The Woodstock Academy in June knew they would be headed into the next stage of their development in a different environment.
But there was one who, despite receiving his high school diploma, knew he was coming back.
Chase Anderson will return this fall as a postgraduate student-athlete at The Woodstock Academy to participate as a member of the Centaurs Blue prep basketball squad.
“It was an odd feeling. I wasn’t sure what to think of it, but I knew about three weeks before I graduated that I was coming back,” Anderson said. “All of my friends are going off to school and stuff so I will have to make some new ones.”
That’s exactly what first-year Woodstock Academy prep basketball Jacque Rivera is hoping Anderson will do.
Like former Centaur high school and post-grad player Sam Majek had done two years before, Anderson can serve as a conduit between the Woodstock Academy student body and the post-grad players who are coming to the campus for a first time.
“I think it’s very important,” Rivera said. “It speaks volumes to our entire community. It’s not often that a kid wants to stay in a community after graduating from high school. It speaks volumes not only athletically, but academically, from a social standpoint, from a holistic development standpoint, and that is what our program and our school, as a whole, is all about. To have a student go through four years here and then decide that he can benefit from an additional year, not only athletically, but academically and socially. We’re excited about having Chase because he knows Woodstock Academy as a student. You can’t put a value on what he brings to the program.”
Rivera added it’s not only his fellow players who will have to learn to get comfortable at Woodstock Academy, but the coach himself, as it will be his first year and he also will rely on Anderson to navigate, not only the school, but the town as a whole.
“He knows this town. He’s from this town. He loves this town. What he learns from me, I’m hoping will be reciprocated because I will be relying on him heavily to teach those things to me,” Rivera said.
Anderson had a very successful four years at Woodstock Academy.
He played basketball, as well as soccer, all four years and was a starter on the varsity basketball team since his sophomore season.
On Feb. 2, Anderson became just the fifth player in the history of the Centaurs’ boys’ basketball program to score his 1,000th career point in a win over Killingly.
The 6-foot, 2-inch guard finished with an 18.3 point per game average including 37 3-pointers.
He finished his high school career by being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Putnam Rotary Club’s annual Senior All-Star shootout.
But Anderson feels he and his game still need some more development.
“I just want (the post-grad experience) to make me more mentally tough. That’s something I lack right now. I want to get in better shape and just become, overall, a better person and player,” Anderson said.
To get ready, Anderson has not exactly been filling the hoops this summer at Woodstock Academy.
“I’ve been working out a lot lately. I haven’t been playing basketball as much, I’m just working on my physicality. I know it’s very physical at the next level. With better teammates, I know I will be able to shoot and score, but I want to prioritize defense over trying to get a shot every possession. I want to be a better all-around player,” Anderson said.
There will be adjustments.
In addition to the increased physical nature of the game, Anderson watched several Woodstock Academy prep games the past couple of years and noted that the pace was much faster than what he was accustomed to in high school.
It will also give him a chance to adjust to a facet of the game that he is not familiar with.
“I like the shot clock because we didn’t have that in high school. The shot clock just fits my game better,” Anderson said.
Rivera is well aware of Anderson’s capabilities as a player.
“I think he’s been able to watch the prep program from a distance and, in terms of what is expected, I think he will be able to adjust quickly. I think he’s ready to take on the challenge. He’s got great size, big shoulders, and what’s most impressive is that the kid competes,” Rivera said.
Rivera liked the fact that Anderson, whether or not he had the ball in his hand or if he was playing in the paint or on the perimeter, was always playing hard.
“I’ve met him a couple of times and I have nothing but great things to say about him, he’s a really good guy. I’m willing to run through a brick wall for him,” Anderson said of Rivera
Majek was rewarded for his decision to stay at Woodstock Academy with the chance to play for a coaching legend, former UConn coach Jim Calhoun, at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, a Division III program.
“I prefer to play Division II. I could have gone and played at a couple of Division III schools this year, but I wanted to expand my options. That’s the big reason why I’m staying another year is to expand those options and, hopefully, be comfortable with where I am going for the next four years. That next four years is going to be a big part of my life,” Anderson said.
 Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

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