Harler Signs With Sweden’s Jamtland Basket Pro Team
By CODY TOMER
WHEELING — After a solid collegiate career at West Virginia University, Wheeling Central alum Chase Harler made a name for himself last year in Lithuania in the pro game.
Now, he is taking the next step as he signed with Jamtland Basket in Sweden to continue his professional basketball playing career.
“Any opportunity to continue to play basketball is a blessing,” Harler said. “I’m kind of working up the European basketball ladder and this is a step up. Last year in Lithuania I wanted to prove myself and build my resume.”
He certainly did.
With Palangos Kursiai, Harler averaged 15 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.1 blocks a game.
He enjoyed the success but missed the fans due to the pandemic. This time around will be his first professional season with fans in attendance and he couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity.
“I went into Lithuania with an open mind,” Harler said. “I wanted to see the world and experience a different culture. The competition was better, too, but I got back in March and I’ve been itching to play. In Lithuania, that’s when COVID was bad, so my coaches in Sweden said that we’ll have fans at our games, so it will be back to normal overseas without COVID.”
Harler scratched his itch to play ball this summer with West Virginia University alumni squad Best Virginia, where he teamed up with Teyvon Myers, who is also a former player with Jamtland Basket.
Myers knew the talent and skill that Harler brought to the table and put in a good word for the Ohio Valley native.
“He played his second year for them, too,” Harler said of Myers. “He played in France this past season but he played a huge part in me getting this opportunity.
“He has a great relationship with the team’s GM and just put in a good word and we got the deal done in two-three days.”
Also helping Harler throughout the signing process was his agent Nathan Conley.
“Nathan is out of Charlotte and he is a close friend of mine,” Harler said. “He was my trainer in high school and he became a certified agent. When I graduated we came to terms and he put out feelers in different leagues. It’s a different process because I like to be in control of things, like setting up events, so it’s hard to step back and let someone else take over but I trust Nathan.”
Best Virginia was ousted in the Sweet 16 of The Basketball Tournament on Wednesday, but, nonetheless, Harler enjoyed the ride with some great teammates.
“It was a great experience being around all of those guys,” Harler said. “Most of them came back to WVU when I was there for summer workouts to be a part of the team, so to see how they went about pre-game rituals and how they take care of their bodies was really cool.
“If you would have told me 10-12 years ago that I’d be on a team with Da’Sean Butler, Kevin Jones and John Flowers I would have laughed, but now I consider them close friends.”