Wesleyan’s Chapman inks with VMI
From his earliest memories, Trey Chapman has had a love for basketball. Sure, he’s played other sports, like football and baseball. But he’s always come back to basketball.
For all the years of hard work and dedication, Chapman, a senior standout at Wesleyan Christian Academy, has signed with the Virginia Military Institute to continue his playing career at the NCAA Division I level.
“It’s an honor, a blessing,” says Chapman, the son of James and Angela of Greensboro. “It’s crazy because you watch college basketball games on TV and you start to see the guys you’ve played against and to think about how next year I’ll be one of those guys.
“It’s going to be a big step, but I’m ready and I’m excited for it.”
Growing up, Chapman and his dad were always shooting hoops. He can hardly remember a time when they weren’t, and that’s where he honed his skills. He tried other sports, but eventually realized he was meant to play basketball.
“We’ve always had a goal at our house, in the backyard. Even when I was a toddler, we had the Fisher-Price goal. We’d always go outside and shoot around, play together — he’d always beat me up,” he says with a laugh.
“I’ve always liked playing basketball the most. I’ve tried football and baseball. I wasn’t too good at baseball. Football, I wasn’t bad. But I just liked basketball the most. I felt the most confident, the most comfortable.”
Chapman began his prep career at Greensboro Day, drawing attention almost immediately. He moved up from JV to varsity as a freshman and began receiving interest letters from schools that same year.
After his sophomore year, he transferred to Wesleyan Christian, where coach Keith Gatlin moved him from an inside player to the wing at small forward. And he has thrived there, making an impact on a very talented team.
“I’m very happy for Trey. I think his best basketball is yet to come,” Gatlin says. “He’s just a really, really good kid. His work ethic is great, and he’s a very good athlete. And I think he’s just finding out how well he can play.
“We transitioned him to the wing, and that’s been really good for him with his length and his size. We knew at the next level he needed perimeter skills. He’s worked extremely hard on his shot and running the floor — just being a great athlete.”
After VMI saw him over the summer with his AAU team and during preseason workouts, Chapman trimmed his choices to also include Jacksonville University and the University of Pennsylvania. A visit to Lexington, Va. in the fall, though, helped him decide the Keydets of the Big South Conference were the best fit for him.
“After going up to VMI, I saw I really liked it,” Chapman says. “The guys and I, seeing how we played in practice, I just knew where I wanted to go. I like the way they play. They play up-and-down, fast, and I think that fits me.
“I like the coaching staff. They all seem like they’ll be able to help me get to the next level. VMI also has a really good engineering program, and that’s what I want to major in. And the military lifestyle … I think it can do nothing but help me.”