He visited BYU campus for the first time and wanted to commit himself to the Cougars the same day.
However, he promised himself he wouldn’t make any emotional decisions, so he postponed his announcement for a day.
Chase Fischer, 20, played for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons his freshman and sophomore years, but now is one of the many new additions to BYU’s young basketball team.
“He is honestly a perfect fit for the program,” said assistant coach Mark Pope. “He plays fast, he’s incredibly aggressive, he’s really good at shooting the ball and he’s a highly intelligent player. His skill set, demeanor and his work ethic fit us perfectly.”
If a six-foot, three-inch frame sporting jersey #30 can’t be located on the hardwood floor this season, it is because Fischer is feeling the effects of the NCAA transfer rules. Every transfer student has to sit out a season before they are eligible to play. In the meantime, Fischer enjoys the rigor of being a full-time student-athlete. After all, playing basketball on a college team is something he starting working toward at a young age.
“When I was five my dad would put me in a bucket outside and make me shoot the basketball for some reason,” Fischer said. “I couldn’t jump, so it was just to get my form. That’s why my dad and me are so close; we’d work out every day.”
The hard work paid off when Fischer grew older. In high school, he won numerous awards including recognition as West Virginia’s 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year. During his senior year at Ripley High School in West Virginia he averaged 37.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.5 steals per game, while also making 141 three-point field goals.
By his senior year of high school, Fischer had a number of college recruiting offers on the table. Fischer said he chose Wake Forest because of its traditionally remarkable basketball program and academic success he felt was important.
So why did he transfer?
“It was more like a style-of-play kind of thing for me,” Fischer reported. “I feel like I had a good freshman year at Wake Forest, I started a lot of games and played a lot, averaged a decent amount of points. … Sophomore year my minutes went down a little bit because we changed style-of-play and it wasn’t fitting for me. I wasn’t getting a ton of shots, and I wasn’t able to play my game there. I felt like I needed a change if I wanted to make the most of my college career.”
Fischer, who is not a member of the LDS Church, came to BYU because of Pope, who helped recruit Fischer to Wake Forest when he served as an assistant coach for the Demon Deacons. Before Fischer got to Wake Forest, Pope had already moved to Provo to help the coaching staff at BYU. When Fischer decided to transfer from Wake Forest, Pope knew BYU could use his talent and they joined Florida Gulf Coast, Valparaiso and others who hoped to recruit him.
Motivated by his father, Fischer reluctantly decided to give BYU a try and planned a visit to campus.
“I didn’t know a lot about BYU,” Fischer said. “I knew it was a big LDS school, and I knew about Jimmer because I watched him a lot … when I came, I fell in love with BYU and could see myself playing here. I wanted to commit on that visit because I liked it that much.”
Fischer is already envisioning what he wants his college career to be like in Provo after his season of sitting on the sidelines.
“I want to have a big part in a winning team,” Fischer said. “I am playing better now than I ever have. … I want to get back to how I played in high school; my system in high school was similar to BYU’s system.”
In the meantime, Fischer is doing just fine and getting along with his roommates Matt Carlino and Anson Winder.
“He’s Crazy – he’s always talking and will never shut up,” Carlino said while laughing and looking at Fischer. “He is like a brother to me, we talk about everything.”
Waiting and watching while the team plays without you is something Carlino knows well. As a transfer from UCLA, Carlino was forced to sit out during the Jimmermainia days. It was a tough year for Carlino but he knows it was helpful and feels it will be the same for Fischer.
“He is going to be so huge for us next year,” Carlino said. “He already comes out here and kills in practice … I haven’t played with many guys who can shoot like he can. His personality is great for us to have – he’s so funny and all the guys love him.”
While Carlino waits for eligibility next season he is improving his game and working hard on his geography major with a minor in business.