Chris Calvin goes from Wildcat to Warrior
May 11, 2011 - It's every high school basketball player's dream to get a scholarship to basketball at the collegiate level.
|L-R: RC Assistant Coach Scott Samuels, RC Head Coach Klint Pleasant and OHS Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Paul Marfia. Seated is OHS senior Chris Calvin. (click for larger version)|
Oxford High School senior Chris Calvin saw his dream come true when he signed his letter of intent to play college basketball for the Rochester College Warriors on Tuesday, April 26.
"I think that it is a great chance and I am glad I get to play college basketball," Calvin said.
Calvin will be heading to the Warriors, who are in transition following the retirement of 39-year Coach Garth Pleasant. Pleasant finished with 720 careers wins and four national titles in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
Now the Warriors, coming off an 25-8 season and a fifth place finish at the USCAA tournament, will begin life in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for the 2011-2012 season with a new coach, Klint Pleasant, the son of Garth Pleasant.
Klint Pleasant, an Oxford resident, said he has seen Calvin play many times this season.
"Chris is another guy that I had been recruiting all year," he said. "Chris jumped out to me as a guy that would fit into our program. He seems to be a blue collar guy, he plays very hard and he struck me as a guy who is very coachable."
Pleasant also spoke highly of varsity basketball coach Paul Marfia and the work he's done during the three years Calvin was on the varsity squad.
"He comes from a solid high school program and was well coached and mentored by Paul Marfia...he (Calvin) has consistently impressed me on many levels," Pleasant said. "He is incredibly mature for his age and has performed well academically."
During his senior season, Calvin averaged 7.8 points and grabbed 9.3 rebounds per game.
"He is a kid that worked hard, like a lot of the kids I've had in my program," Marfia said. "It is nice that he has gotten that reward and I hope he sets that standard and that tone for future kids coming up through our basketball program."
Marfia noted this was the first player in the history of boys basketball for Oxford High School to have signed a scholarship to play college basketball.
Marfia said during his research he found former players that walked onto basketball teams or played basketball at school that did not offer basketball scholarships.
"From the limited research that I have done, about 200 hours worth of looking at newspaper clippings and numerous phone conversations, no one has been able to tell me if someone is playing basketball on a basketball scholarship."
According to Calvin, he was looking at offers from Northwood University and Saginaw Valley State University.
But, he said it was their championship pedigree that ultimately shaped his decision to sign his letter of intent with Rochester College.
"I heard they had winning programs and they (just) had one of the most winning records in the program's history," he said.
"I also like the coaches," Calvin added.
So far, Klint Pleasant has liked what he has seen during the few times Calvin and he have attended shoot-around with current members of the Warrior basketball team.
"I think he has a chance to have a nice career here at Rochester," Pleasant said. "He has a great wingspan, he has the potential to dominate on the offensive and defensive end with rebounding and he just plays hard."
Marfia sees this signing as validation of just how far Calvin has come since beginning his varsity career as a sophomore.
"I am just proud of the things he has overcome and the work he has put in," Marfia said. "I think he has begun that first step that I hope is a long journey, a long development of him going from a boy to being a man."
"I think he has a great opportunity," Marfia added. "God has blessed him with the talent. He has a great coaching staff there at Rochester that really do things the right way, that I think are going to try and continue that family atmosphere. We are going to watch him develop and do great things."