The recruiting class for Jay Price's Chattanooga State men's basketball team was already strong, and it got even better Wednesday afternoon when David Ware signed to play for the Tigers.
Ware, who averaged 21.2 points and made more than 140 3-point baskets last season for Walker Valley's 35-2 Mustangs, signed with NCAA Division II member Carson-Newman before the season but later realized he could've had Division I opportunities.
He's hoping for more of those two years from now. Going to a two-year school meant he didn't have to get a release from Eagles coach Dale Clayton, who even on Monday of this week announced Ware as the headliner of his incoming freshmen.
"I just decided not to go there. Nothing against them," Ware said. "I looked at this as a better opportunity to get to Division I."
As to Chattanooga State over Cleveland State, he acknowledged that he wanted to be close to home but not "directly" in his hometown.
"I'm still close enough so my (wheelchair-bound) grandmother can come and watch me play," Ware said.
"It seems like they've got some pretty good talent that I think I can fit it in with," he added, "and Coach Price having been a guard in the SEC (Tennessee), I'm sure there's a lot of things he can teach me."
Price had recruited Ware as a junior and made sure the 6-foot guard kept the Tigers in mind.
"He trues up a freshman class that I think is going to be pretty good, and with three starters returning and B.J. Frazier coming in from Western Kentucky, we should have a lot to work with," Price said. "I think David is going to fit in real well with our fast-paced style. The way he shoots, he can play the 2, but with his size I think he'd have a better chance in D-I at point guard or as a combo, so we're going to give him opportunities at both.
"He's a key recruit for us, especially being from this area. Once he decided he was going juco, it was important for us to keep him close."