It isn't hard to notice the dedication Chase Banister had to the Douglass boys basketball program the past four years.
Banister is one of only four Bulldogs ever to top 1,000 points in a career. He has earned three All-League honors, including two on the First Team. He earned three All-State honors during his career as well in Class 3A. And from day one, he wanted to do whatever it took to continue his playing career at the collegiate level.
That is now a reality for Banister. Barton Community College's coaches first got a look at him at an All-Star game, and they saw enough. Quickly after, they offered him a spot on their team, and Banister accepted. He made it official Tuesday by signing a letter of intent to join the Cougars next season.
"It is truly a blessing. It is something special and I'm very fortunate...and I thank God," Banister said.
Douglass coach Ty Unrau said that Banister was determined from the beginning to play collegiate basketball, so the two worked hard throughout his career to improve his game, and they wanted to find the right fit for him.
Unrau said Banister did all the right things on and off the court with smart decisions.
"It's good to see all the hard work he put in, all the shots, all the time in the weight room, and all the choices that he's made throughout his high school career to be a well-rounded, high-character guy and do the right things," Unrau said.
For Banister, the decision was easy, and he is anxious to make his mark at the next leve.
"First of all, I love coach 'Fletch'. He is awesome," Banister said of Barton head coach Craig Fletchall. "I loved their facilities, and they're historically a dominant team in the league. And I wanted the challenge going to the next level, and that's what I'm going to get, so I'm excited."
The one knock on Banister might be his size - he's a bit on the small side - but Unrau quickly pointed out that Banister doesn't let that slow him down.
"It was never a question about how hard he plays. It was never question about his work ethic or his ball-handling and shooting ability," Unrau said. "They were worried about his size at the next level. But you can't measure his heart by his measurables. That's the thing that made him great. He played bigger than he is."
"It's really truly shaped me into who I am today. I really thank coach Unrau for everything he's done and the whole administration," Banister said. "Coach Unrau, man, he's really pushing me to be who I am today."