April 13, 2012

D-whatever, can he play or not?

Kevin McCarthy

Producing 34 points a game usually brings 24/7 multimedia attention from college recruiters who want to be your immediate BFFL. Not so in the case of Chris Schwartz-Edmisten and he's just fine with that.

photo of Chris Schwartz-Edmisten

Schwartz-Edmisten plays for Sacramento Waldorf, a Division V member. That's strike one in the world of recruiting. He also isn't a running and jumping gazelle on the court, meaning strike two. Strike three is that education plus the quality of an overall college experience is important for him, pardon the mixed sports metaphor.

But in his favor is a 26-5, 12-0 senior season record, those 34 points a contest despite facing every contrived defense known in coaching circles, plus shooting and ballhandling skills developed under the aegis of plain old hard work.

For the 6-foot-3 Schwartz-Edmisten, it's a matter of finding the right next destination.

"D-1, D-2 doesn't concern me at all, the division of basketball play won't define my college experience," he explained.

And it's not like he has never faced D-1 bound opponents since he plays for the Davis Wildcats (since he was a sophomore) in the spring and summer, just participated in the Sacramento Optimists All Star game and also plays in the 50 Elite, a Sacramento area fall hoops league. But as he puts it, "D-V makes people think I can't play at D-1 level."

Wildcat Coach George Sousa certainly has his take. " Chris was the leading scorer in the state [this high school season], he does several things well like shooting, driving and kicking and rebounding and he actually is a good athlete. He's not a skinny weak guy and he starts on our top team which is a pretty good AAU team." Sousa also said that his protege participates in the team's dunk contests.

He added, "I'm kind of surprised {at the lack of attention]. I think they [college recruiters] are missing the boat."

Sacramento State is showing interest and a get-together with Sonoma State University is upcoming for the sharpshooter. He has also worked out with Dominican University.

Schwartz-Edmisten is also composed and thoughtful in deftly describes his evolution on the court.

"As a freshman, I was a pure shooter, a 5-foot-8 little guy who didn't set foot inside the key. As a sophomore, we had a bunch of seniors graduate and I took over at point guard and put shooting on the backburner, attacking on dribble-drives. My last two years, I've been doing both."

He sees "my shooting" as his best skill. His percentage is above 50%, with "my willing to work hard a close second."

Remarkably, it's almost always been a hoops-centered orientation for Schwartz-Edmisten. In fact, he recalls, "on my second birthday, I had a basketball-themed party."

It was right after the eighth grade that he began taking his basketball up a notch.

"I began working with Danielle Viglione, my eighth grade coach, and her staff the summer before high school. It was a lot of one-on-one training."

Plus, Dean Stark, his high school coach, also played a major influence.

"I credit him for teaching me the principles of basketball and really stressing defensive rotations."

From what he can gather, he'll be a shooting guard come college.

Call Schwartz-Edmisten the poster player for that never-ending debate, the one mid and lower majors engage in the pursuit of talent. Not having access to the pool of well-rounded bluechippers, it's sometimes a basketball talent versus physical skills contest. But the bottomline is the need to put points on the board and that favors the right hand of Schwartz-Edmisten.