Reaching new heights
Senior Bulldog named an 'All American'
Craig — From Phoenix to Oregon.
Kearney, Neb. to San Diego.
Angie Charchalis is representing the Western Slope nationally this summer on her club basketball team, WYCO Pride.
The traveling all-star team consists of nine girls from various schools in Colorado and Wyoming. The team competes in tournaments to gain college recognition and scholarships.
“It provides a lot of great exposure that we do not get here in the Western Slope,” said Charchalis, a senior-to-be at Moffat County High School. “We do not get the credit we deserve.”
Last year, when WYCO Pride coach Randy Pope called Charchalis asking her to be on his team, she had no doubt it would bring her opportunities.
Neither did he.
“Angie is a great teammate and one of the most coachable kids you will see,” Pope said. “It is a coach’s dream to have her on your team.”
If Charchalis was looking for recognition, she got it.
Charchalis was recognized nationally last weekend at the Miss Basketball Showcase in Kearney, Neb., when she was named to the Miss Basketball All American Team.
The showcase had 67 prep girls teams from 17 states around the nation, each looking for collegiate exposure.
And with more than 100 college scouts watching and critiquing the players, Pope feels it puts a lot of pressure on the girls.
“It is a college scholarship these girls are playing for, and it is intimidating for them to see the stands full of scouts instead of parents,” Pope said.
Being placed on the All American Team was one of Charchalis’ many accomplishments this weekend.
Overcoming her fears was the next.
“I was really nervous and timid in the first few tournaments and wasn’t playing to my full potential,” Charchalis said. “It was intimidating to see all the scouts sitting in the stands. It took some getting used to.”
“She was shooting really well in practice but playing timid in the games. I told her to let the game come to you and keep shooting. She shot the lights out this weekend.”
Charchalis sealed the win in overtime against a team from South Dakota by sinking both of her bonus free throws.
“I love the thrill and excitement of a close game,” Charchalis said. “It’s stressful but after it is done you feel much more accomplished.”
She did more than hit a game-winner. After scoring 100 points in six games, Charchalis was an individual scoring leader in seven of 12 categories.
Charchalis had the second highest point average of the tournament with 16.67, averaged the highest amount of 3-pointers per game average at 2.67, and connected on the most 3-pointers scored.
Charchalis doesn’t see these numbers as a ranking but more of a stepping stone.
“It is a real big honor that they noticed how hard I tried,” Charchalis said. “But, I still have a lot to prove to college coaches.”
She will get another chance in August when the all-star team travels to San Diego.
Moffat County High School girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen is confident in Charchalis’ future as a collegiate player.
“Angie is a very dedicated player. She will be able to play in college and play well,” Mortensen said.
The longtime Bulldog coach doesn’t take any credit for her success.
“I haven’t done anything – just sent in a few tapes to the colleges in which Angie is interested in,” Mortensen said. “She has done the rest and deserves the credit.
“It doesn’t surprise me one bit that she is a great player.”
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