PARKER, Colo. – Future BYU Cougars have shown a knack for earning basketball MVP awards this past season. Lone Peak’s TJ Haws won 5A prep playoff MVP honors a month and a half ago. So did Union, Wash.'s Jordan Chatman, who won MVP honors for his playoff performance and was named Washington State’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Recently fellow BYU commit Cory Calvert was named Colorado’s 5A MVP after leading Chaparral to a state championship. Calvert is a 6-foot-3 combo guard who signed with BYU this past November along with Chatman.
“It’s a huge honor for me, obviously,” said Calvert. “It was a great year and I learned a lot about working my way back from injuries and I was fortunate to play with a lot of great players and a great coach. It was a great way to finish my high school career.”
Things started out well for Calvert this season, as he averaged 30 points per game through his first four contests. He was doing his best work from the outside – raining down 3-point shots with regularity when he suffered what could have been a devastating setback.
Calvert sustained a break to the wrist on his shooting hand. It kept him out for a month, but due to the injury occurring just before Christmas break he only missed five games.
When he came back he was understandably rusty.
“I had to go a month without shooting, so you lose some touch that you had,” he said. “It was frustrating, and I wasn’t able to score like I did before the injury. But I did other things better. I think I tried to be more aggressive taking the ball to the hoop and just doing everything I could to help the team.”
Eventually Calvert’s shooting touch did come back and he led his team to just two loses during the regular season.
Although his team was among the favorites to win it all, it almost got bounced in the first round. Chaparral found itself down 12 points with just two minutes remaining to Dakota Ridge before managing a furious rally to escape with a 60-58 win.
“I think that game woke us up a bit and really prepared us to make sure we were ready for any opponent,” said Calvert. “Dakota Ridge was a team that hustled a lot and they certainly gave us all we could handle.”
Chaparral went on to get by Fountain-Fort Carson and Columbine before matching up with fellow No. 1 seed Highlands Ranch in the semifinals. Against Highlands Ranch Calvert recorded what he considers his best game of the year – scoring 25 points in Chaparral’s 54-50 victory.
They matched up against Arapahoe in the state finals and won in overtime, 69-67, on a last-second tip by teammate Josh Adams. “It was an incredible season and like I said, it was a perfect way to end,” said Calvert.
Calvert finished the year averaging 22.5 points, six rebounds and five assists per game at the point position. His plans are to enroll at BYU this coming June before leaving for a planned LDS mission before the start of the 2012-2013 season.
When he gets home he’ll join with Chatman in providing help to the Cougar backcourt. He's capable of playing both guard positions although coaches consider him more of a two-guard prospect.
“BYU’s system and how Coach (Dave) Rose plays his guards — it’s perfect for me,” said Calvert. “It’s obviously going to be a while before I play, but I’m so excited to get there and play for such a great program. I love BYU and think it’s perfect for me as a player and as a student.”
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BrandonCGurney