GREEN RIVER– Green River High School student-athlete Chase Stoeger signed his national letter of intent on Monday to play basketball at Western Wyoming Community College following his high school graduation this year.
“I really wanted to go somewhere that wanted me to play for them, and Coach [Steve] Soza always came to our games and supported me, so he really showed me that he wanted me to play for him,” Stoeger said of WWCC head basketball coach Steve Soza.
Coach Soza first saw Stoeger play in a game against a Utah team in which Stoeger hit six three-pointers. Soza recalls being impressed by his shooting, but what really stood out was how much of a team player Stoeger is.
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When GRHS played Rock Springs High School at Rock Springs, Green River’s Braxton Yeager went down with a shoulder injury.
“Chase accepted a role with his his team, he went down and guarded the post, he went down and played the post, he showed he was more of a team player than just a shooter,” Soza said. “That’s what I saw as the season progressed as well.”
Coach Soza said Stoeger’s basketball IQ is “second to none,” and GRHS head boys basketball coach Laurie Ivie agrees.
“Chase sees things that other kids and sometimes coaches don’t see. He’s just got a great court sense,” Ivie said. “He can do everything. He’s played point guard for us for four years and he’s led our team in rebounding all four years, and as a guard that’s pretty significant in 4A Wyoming. He can shoot, he can pass, he can distribute.”
Coach Ivie said part of what makes Stoeger such a great player is his leadership skills. He started Varsity ever since he was a Freshman and he always led the team in rebounds and free throw percentage.
“Chase is a big reason, if not the reason, for the turn around of our [basketball] program,” Ivie said.
Ivie added that Stoeger’s best qualities aren’t his knowledge of the game or his skills on the court. Rather, it’s just that he’s a good person.
“He’s just a great kid and a super leader,” she said.
Stoeger plans to study Chemical Engineering. As for on the court, he just wants to be able to compete with the college-level athletes.
“I really want to improve my shooting, become a better free throw shooter,” Stoeger said. “Also get bigger, stronger, and faster to compete with all those athletes who’ve been doing it for a year or two already.”