July 10, 2016

Chappell with big ratings

Kevin McCarthy
 

The Chappell show here in Northern California is currently headlined by a 6-foot-4 2018 guard ranked first in the NorCal Preps 2018 projection of point guards as well as fourth overall in the Top 40 rankings. Why so? Because Zach Chappell of Capital Christian High and Team Arsenal possesses that prized trifecta of size, athletic prowess and skills as well as both the desire and effort for continuous improvement.

photo of Zach Chappell

Reached in Dallas where he is visiting older brother and former Hawaii Pacific player LaBrent, Chappell detailed his work ethic. "We're up at 5:30 and hit the gym at 6:00. We lift and then work on my spotup and pullup jumper." His brother, who is in the accounting field, then heads off to work "but we're back at it at 7:00."

"My best skill is definitely attacking the basket, " he explained. "I like to get my teammates involved." Working on his jump shot was an element he added.

His evaluation based on his play in the recent West Coast Elite event earned him numerous accolades -- "There were a handful of prospects that could have been tabbed best player, but when it came down to consistency, Chappell separated himself from the pack. The rangy point guard plays at a great pace, sets up teammates, and can knock down jump shots" -- as well as the Best Player honor.

"I am very proud of Zachary and the young man he has become on and off the court," Capital Christian Coach Devon Jones said. "Zach has Ivy League grades with a pro body and the type of game that could transition to college really well. He is one of the best players I have ever coached and I look forward to the next two years chasing a state title with him."

Asked about leadership, Chappell offered, "I do consider myself a leader, more by example. Phil Oates (a former Capital Christian head coach, assistant and a part owner of the Sacramento Kings) stays on me to get vocal." Here's Oates on Chappell: "Zach is a tremendous player and even better person. A school AND team will be lucky to have him."

Chappell is also quick to credit that "I learned a lot from Justice Shelton-Mosely," an exalted former teammate who just finished his freshman year at Harvard.

What many don't know is that Chappell's sports attention once was divided. "I used to be really good at soccer." But when he was exiting elementary school, "I had to decide whether to get better at soccer or basketball." With LaBrent Chappell heavily focused on hoops as well as Chappell's other older brother Ryan (who has signed with Montana State Billings), the court won out over the pitch. Just imagine what games in the driveway looked like with that threesome and add in father Kevin who played basketball and football at McClatchy High.

Queried on his best basketball moments, Chappell recounted two. "When I was real young and playing three years up in CYBL ball, I wasn't strong enough and couldn't shoot. A teammate passed me the ball on a fastbreak. I got scared but threw the ball up and it went in. It was the game-winning shot."

Another memorable event took place during Chappell's freshman season at Capital Christian. "It was a playoff game and my brother was hurt. But he came in, I tossed him an alley-oop pass and he got a tip dunk. It was a brother connection."

Chappell's recruiting is in its early stages and he "is wide open. I want to go to a good school and definitely have a great relationship with my coach." His father's alma mater, UC Davis, recently extended a scholarship offer.

Despite losing Tiegen Jones and Ryan Chappell to graduation, Capital Christian looks to be tough yet again with returnees 6-foot-10 Christopher Wreidt, 6-foot-6 Austin Alexander plus new 6-foot-11 addition Tolu Jacobs Yaffa. Coach Jones added, "Rick Barros is a transfer from Sacramento Country Day High School. He'll be coming in as a junior next year and he also plays for Splash City. He's a 6-foot-4 combo guard who will make a big impact along with Tolu Jacobs. We also have one of the top players in the country in his class in incoming 6-foot-7 freshman Kendall Munson who will also make an impact."

Chappell sees himself as a combo guard. "I'll do whatever my coach needs." Just as unselfishly, he explained, "I give all glory to God, he's my my Lord and Saviour."