Jace Chatman would have been one of the top returning players in the county
Jace Chatman, who has been a varsity boys basketball player since his freshman year at Skyview, informed his coach that his family was moving out of state.
“Jace gave me a call a week or so ago to let me know he had registered at a high school in Utah,” Skyview coach Matt Gruhler said. “He and his family wanted to be in a spot where he could be in in-person classes. As far as I know, they are playing sports and having in-person classes (in Utah). He felt that would be a better learning environment for him. I’m assuming being able to play his senior season was a factor as well.”
The high school basketball season in Washington, if there is one this academic year, will be shortened. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has a tentative sports schedule that has basketball practice beginning the final week of December. Games would begin in January, with any postseason concluded by the end of February. All sports seasons have been shortened due to the pandemic as the WIAA hopes to have a season for all sports.
The Utah High School Activities Association announced in July that it had planned to proceed as normal this school year. Football and other fall sports have already started in Utah. Basketball practice begins in late October, early November. The season is scheduled to last through March.
Chatman was voted second-team, all-league in the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League this past winter, his junior season. He helped the Storm to the Elite Eight of the 4A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome.
It was the next week when the governor closed in-person schools, first for six weeks, and later for the rest of the academic year. Public schools in Southwest Washington are still distance learning as schools open for the 2020-21 academic year. And sports have been put on hold until at least December when Winter Sports begin practice.
“Jace was a very important player for what we’ve been doing the last few years,” Gruhler said. “He’s one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever coached. I was excited to see him grow his senior year. He really changed from a guy mostly known as a shooter to a guy who initiated our offense more and helped carry our offense.”
The 6-foot-4 Chatman shot better than 40-percent from 3-point range for the Storm.
“A great kid on top of that,” Gruhler said. “Very coachable kid. Bright and energetic. Going to miss him for sure.”
The Chatman family declined comment for this story.
The Chatman family has a connection to Utah. Jeff Chatman, Jace’s father, had a tremendous career at Brigham Young University. Jordan Chatman, a Union High School graduate, went to BYU as well before he transferred to Boston College. Jessica Chatman, also a Union graduate, is now at Utah State.