Schmidt gears up for busy junior year at Cabell Midland

(Citynet Statewide Sportsline interview with Chandler Schmidt)


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Like many multi-sport athletes, Cabell Midland rising junior Chandler Schmidt went from having a crowded schedule to a complete stop when the pandemic shut down all sports across West Virginia.

The Knights qualified for the Class AAA state tournament for the second consecutive season, earning the No. 4 seed with a 21-4 record. In the three months since, Schmidt has done his best to build his game away from the gym.

“I went to an open gym two weeks ago and I thought I would be really rusty,” Schmidt said. “But I have a hoop outside in my front yard and that helped out a lot. But when I am in the gym, it felt perfect. I felt like my shot was on and it was perfectly fine.”

Schmidt averaged 17.8 points per game in his sophomore season and he guided the Knights to the state semifinals as a freshman. He is also a starting defensive back for the Midland football team that went 13-1 and advanced to the Class AAA state championship game. A foot injury however cost Schmidt most of his sophomore season. He returned to the lineup in time for the playoffs.

“That was probably the first big injury I had probably in my whole life. I broke my wrist in fourth or fifth grade but it wasn’t anything serious. That was the first injury I had in a really long time. It was pretty bad. I hate not being able to do anything, be on the court or on the field.”

Schmidt is gaining interest from college coaches in both sports. Navy, Marshall, WVU, Ohio State and some smaller Division I basketball programs have reached out.

“I have been contacted by colleges in both. I have had people tell me I can go to college for both. So I don’t know what I am going to do next.

“I would say right now I like basketball more. But when I am in the season, I just like that sport more.”

Without a senior on the Midland basketball roster this past season, the Knights should be a top contender in Class AAA in 2021.

“I just feel like I need to be a leader and help people around me and help my teammates to get better. And to make sure that I get better.”

Basketball is a family business for the Schmidt’s. Chandler’s younger brother Dominic started for the Knights as a freshman. Chandler’s mother Cristina is an assistant coach.

“People will think she takes it easy on you because you are her son. No, she is the hardest on me to make sure I get where I need to be. She has coached me my whole life and made sure I am where I need to be at. She’ll critique me on the court no matter what is happening, me and my brother. So that is good.”

Cristina and her husband Travis both played college basketball at Purdue-Northwest.

“They both shot pretty good. I don’t want to say who is the better shooter. I’ll make one of them upset.”

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