Union’s Chatman makes verbal commitment to BYU

His father was star for Cougars during the 1980s

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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Jordan Chatman followed his father’s advice.

“He told me to pick what was the best fit for me,” said Chatman, a Union basketball standout. “BYU was that school.”

Chatman, a senior for the Titans, has told Brigham Young coaches that he intends to sign a letter of intent with the Cougars in November.

Just so happens it is the same school where his father, Jeff, excelled during the mid-1980s.

“It wasn’t really a factor,” Chatman insisted.

Instead, it was his relationship with the coaching staff, and the familiarity with the campus. He has been there many times as the son of a BYU legend.

But again, while he is proud of his father’s accomplishments at the school, Chatman was not going to pick a program based on highlights from 20-plus years ago.

“I love watching their tempo, the way they play,” Jordan said of these Cougars. “I love their style of play. BYU was most comfortable.”

Chatman said he had offers from Washington State, Portland, Stanford, Utah State and Utah.

Chatman also excels academically. A Running Start student at Clark College, he said he hopes to have his two-year degree by the time he graduates from high school in the spring.

“It was the relationships I had with the coaches,” he said of the tipping point toward Provo, Utah.

Chatman made his decision Monday night and called BYU head coach Dave Rose on Tuesday morning.

“He was really excited. They got two commits last week from really good players. He thinks we have a really bright future,” Chatman said.

The future basketball plans will be on hold a bit after high school. Chatman said he will be going on a two-year mission for his church and will report to BYU for the 2014-15 school year.

Chatman, a 6-foot-4 guard, said he was told he was being recruited as a point guard. But just like in high school, he is willing shooting guard, depending on matchups.

Now that his decision has been made, Chatman said he is looking forward to his senior year with the Titans.

“Our goal is to win a state championship,” he said.

The Titans did that in 2010, a year before Chatman joined the team. Chatman played his freshman and sophomore years at Skyview.

Last season, Union reached the Class 4A bi-district tournament, one step from going to state.

“We’ve decided to buy in and listen to all the coaches and work as hard as we can at practice,” Jordan said of the offseason program with his Union teammates. “Every opportunity we have, just play our hearts out.”

Union coach Maco Hamilton said he is looking forward to one more season with Chatman leading the way, and he believes BYU is getting a special player.

“He’s a versatile guard who can do some things on the perimeter,” Hamilton said. “And he’s got a lot of room to grow, which is cool.”

Jeff Chatman, a 6-6 forward, averaged 19.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in his senior year with the Cougars in 1987-88 and was voted to the All-Western Athletic Conference first team. He also averaged double figures in scoring his junior and sophomore seasons. At the time of his graduation, he was the fourth-leading scorer in BYU history.

Like his father, Jordan Chatman says he also will be signing with BYU. But he plans on making his own mark with the Cougars.