Four years ago, Chris Singleton had the ride of his life.
He was in the seventh grade and got to ride on the Goose Creek boys basketball team bus headed to Columbia. The Gators had a date with Gaffney in the Class AAAA state championship game.
“I’ll never forget it,” Singleton said. “It was crazy. My dad was one of the (assistant) coaches, and it was a real learning experience. The only thing better than the ride up was the ride home. We beat Gaffney for the state championship.”
Tonight, Singleton hopes to have the time of his life. The Goose Creek junior guard and his teammates will play undefeated Irmo for the Class AAAA title. The championship game is slated for 8:30 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena.
“It’s an amazing feeling to get to play in one of these games,” Singleton said. “It will be a great experience. We began the season as a young team, but we matured during the season. We don’t think of ourselves as a young team.”
Singleton and teammate Dantez Bennamon are one of the best junior backcourt combos in the state. Singleton is averaging 10.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.6 steals per game for the Gators, who enter the game with a 10-game winning streak and a 22-4 record. Irmo, which enters with a 28-0 record, is the No. 1 team in the state and No. 53 nationally, according to MaxPreps.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Singleton said. “But we like challenges.”
Singleton is exactly what coach Blake Hall looks for in a player. He has a 3.0 GPA and excels in other sports.
“He’s a great kid,” Hall said. “I met him when I was working a basketball camp at The Citadel. His father and Brad Dobbels brought him. I could tell he was a good basketball player.”
Dobbels was the coach of the ’09 Gators team that won the title. He’s now an assistant at Charleston Southern and no doubt will have Singleton on his recruiting radar next year.
While his backcourt partner Bennamon is a star football player. Singleton excels on the baseball diamond.
“I haven’t seen him play,” Hall said. “But I hear he’s a Division I prospect.
Singleton plays for the Gators baseball team and the East Coast Baseball Academy travel team.
“Absolutely, he’s a Division I prospect,” said Greg Carlson, a team director at ECBA. “He definitely has a bright future.”
But in what sport?
“I grew up loving baseball,” Singleton said. “But right now, I love basketball. It’s a tie.”
Next year, Singleton will have to make the decision of his life.