BYU basketball: Chatman athletes make big news

Published: Friday, March 9 2012 10:53 a.m. MST

Jessica Chatman didn't take long to accept coach Jeff Judkins offer. She's a 6-0 wing player who will become the third Chatman to play basketball for BYU.

Jeff Chatman

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VANCOUVER, Wash. — There’s a lot going on in the Chatman household these days. Jordan Chatman, who committed to BYU over the summer, just finished up an impressive state-tournament run, earning himself MVP honors.

Jordan’s playoff run will best be remember for his 85-foot, buzzer-beating shot during the state semifinals, which should have tied up the game, keeping Union High’s hopes alive for a final berth. A controversial call by the officials, changing Jordan’s previous 3-point basket into a 2-pointer, led to Union being down four instead of by three when the memorable shot was let go.

Jordan bucked up despite the disappointment, and led his team to a win in the third place game — capping off a great tournament run and a great prep career. It was admittedly a very hard game to get up for, considering the disappointment incurred in the semifinals.

“It was very tough to just go out there and play the next night, knowing that we just came up short to having a chance to win it all,” said Jordan. “We were down, crying and all that. I mean, we all felt like we were robbed, but it got better the next day. We all determined that if this was the final game we were going to play that we better make it count and go out strong, giving it everything we have.”

His team did exactly that and defeated Bellarmine prep, 62-51. Jordan finished with 32 points and six 3-point baskets — leaving little to no doubt that he was deserving of tournament MVP honors.

“I knew I was the best player in the tournament,” said the 6-4 guard. “I went in playing well, and I’ve really improved this year. I’ve become a better leader —that’s the thing I’ve improved on the most. Obviously I wanted to win it all, but I’m proud of how our team performed.”

Shortly after Jordan’s tournament run, another Chatman made some news. Jessica Chatman, who just finished up her sophomore year, received an offer from BYU coach Jeff Judkins. It was an offer that she was anticipating and an offer she didn’t hesitate in accepting.

“BYU is the only place I’ve wanted to play,” said Jessica. “I love BYU, I love the coaches there and it’s going to be great playing there with my brother. I really like how coach Judkins coaches his players and how he’s easy-going and always positive. He runs an uptempo style, which is perfect for my game. It’s just a great opportunity for me and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Jessica is a 6-0 prospect who can play at forward or at guard. She averaged 16 points per game last season while earning first-team, all-league honors. She describes herself as a shut-down defender, using her size and athleticism to create a lot of problems for her opponents. She also runs the court well and has developed a good shot from the perimeter.

“She’s pretty good — for a girl,” quipped Jordan. “Seriously though, she’s worked hard on her game and I’m excited for her. It’s going to be great and a little bit weird starting school at the same time as her.”

Indeed Jessica and Jordan plan to enroll at BYU in time for the 2014 season. Jessica will just be finishing up high school while Jordan will be fresh off of his mission service.

Jordan recently received his LDS Church mission call to serve in Taiwan, Taipei, and will be entering the MTC on April 25, just two weeks after graduating from high school.

“I’m ready to go and I’m excited,” said Jordan. “I’ve been preparing myself as best I can, and it’s going to be a great experience.”

Jordan and Jessica will become the second and third of Jeff Chatman’s children to attend BYU, but they may not be the last. With five younger siblings, Jordan feels that we could hear a lot more recruiting news from the Chatman household in the coming years.

“I have a younger brother who is a football player and he’s pretty good,” he related. “My other brother, who is younger than him, is a basketball player and, yeah, I think they both have the potential to be really good as well. Maybe we can get them all to BYU. That would be great.”

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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