Lincoln boys basketball player Chase Southerland recently signed a NCAA National Letter of Intent to attend Manchester University.
“I really like the coaching staff,” Southerland said. “It’s a nice small town and it’s always been a dream of mine to play college basketball.”
Southerland scored 14 points per game this season as the Golden Eagles finished 14-9.
“He’s probably one of the hardest workers I’ve coached in a long time,” Lincoln boys basketball coach Rodney Klein said. “He has made himself into a prolific shooter. He had a great desire when he started his freshman year and he told me he wanted to play college basketball.”
The 5-11 senior is the son of Jennifer and David Southerland, Jr.
“Manchester was a good fit for him,” Klein said. “The coaching staff there is a lot like what we do at our school.”
“He wanted to go some place closer to home, so his parents could see him play along with his grandpa (David Southerland, Sr.), who is a huge figure in his life,” Klein continued. “Manchester gave him that opportunity. He has gotten so much out of himself by his hard work and determination.”
Part of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Manchester is a NCAA Division III school located in North Manchester, Ind.
Klein knew that effort would make a difference for Southerland, who plans to study exercise science and perhaps physical therapy later.
“He told me I had the potential to play at the next level,” Southerland. “At first, I thought he was crazy. I knew it would take hard work. I wore out the shooting machines. Junior year, I figured out that I could do it.”
One of the things that has helped in Southerland’s growth as the basketball player was participating in multiple sports.
“I’ve done that since I was little,” he said. “When I got in high school, it was more about keeping myself in shape.”
“I really like playing three sports,” Southerland added. “I thought a few times about not playing another sport and trying to focus on basketball.”
Southerland is currently a member of the track team competing in the long jump, 400 and 1,600-meter relay. He was sixth the Tri-Eastern Conference meet last spring in the 400.
“I’m looking forward to the end of the year with conference and sectional,” he said. “I’m glad I stuck with it, after the senior football season that I had, I’m pretty happy.”
Last fall, Southerland established a pair of school records in football with a single-season touchdown receptions mark of eight. He also has the career record in the same category with 14.
“We as a coaching staff really emphasize that you should play more than one sport,” Klein said. “Chase is a competitor. It was really easy for him to play three sports. He’s been a blessing for our school because he’s contributed in so many ways.”