CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — After leading Chapmanville Regional its first boys basketball state championship back in March, standout Drew Williamson will spend the next year playing for Beckley Prep, reclassifying for the 2019 recruiting class.
“I had a bunch of high-major schools calling (back in November), wanting me to do a year of prep school,” Williamson said. “I told them I would think about it.
“A few weeks after that, the coaching staff at Beckley Prep called me,” he continued. “I talked with my dad, my mom, my family about it – and we ended up coming to the conclusion that it would be the best decision for me.”
Williamson, one of the state’s best overall players from the last couple of years, had a list of D-I scholarship offers that included Akron, VMI, UNC-Asheville, Lafayette and Nicholls State.
Schools like West Virginia, South Carolina, Rutgers, Marshall and Butler showed interest, but wanted to see Williamson go through a prep season first.
“They want me to get my hops up and they want me to get about two or three steps quicker,” Williamson said. “And they want me to be an all-around better defender, an off-the-ball defender.”
Williamson’s strengths, though, are undeniable as the 6-foot-5, 200 pound shooting guard entered state tournament play this past season averaging 18 points per game.
In three state tournament games, Williamson was dominant, averaging 27 points per contest, hitting 11 3s and shooting 63 percent from the floor overall.
“Coaches like my shooting ability,” Williamson said. “They say that I move without the ball really well and I have a high IQ.”
Williamson finished his high school career at Chapmanville with a school-record 1,851 points.
Beckley Prep, meanwhile, is heading into its second year as a program, formed by head coach Cortez Brown. Beckley Prep had three kids sign at the D-I level following that first season as Chance Moore went with Wichita State, Connor Arnold with VMI and Cress Wothy with UNC-Asheville.
“I didn’t know a lot about them at first, but then I checked out their schedule and they had won a few good games,” Williamson said. “I was thinking to myself, ‘What if we (the other incoming players) go up there and get that program going?'”
Something that can already be said for Williamson from his time at Chapmanville, forever leaving his mark on that program.
“That meant everything, that state championship,” Williamson said. “I was blessed a lot throughout my high school career, but my senior season was a storybook ending.
“My freshman year, we didn’t make it to the state tournament, my sophomore we made it to the first round, my junior year we got runner-up and then my senior year we won the state championship,” he continued. “It doesn’t get any better than winning the state championship your last game in high school.”
Beckley Prep has 32 games on the schedule for the coming season, including contests in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania.