Routt, Harler Set For TBT Opener With Best Virginia
Local duo soaking in experience with Best Virginia
WHEELING — Not long ago Chase Harler and Logan Routt were electrifying high school crowds here in the Ohio Valley.
Both went on to excellent collegiate careers at West Virginia University and are playing pro ball overseas.
Now they are joining forces for Best Virginia with hopes of bringing home the $1 million grand prize in The Basketball Tournament, which tips off Saturday.
With as much success as they’ve had, it’s clear that they have not forgotten where they come from as Harler organized an exhibition last week at Wheeling Park for the hometown fans to come out and see their favorite WVU players of the past.
While the crowd was focused on every play, Harler and Routt were also soaking in the moment of playing together again and learning from those who came before them.
“It’s awesome,” Routt said of playing with Harler again. “With everybody really. To play with all of my former teammates and the guys that came before me that I looked up to, it’s great just being a sponge and absorbing all the knowledge they have to give me. Just practicing with these guys is great. We have 10, 12 or 13 players on this team who are in the pros who play in big leagues in Europe so it’s awesome just to learn from them.”
In his first professional season in Slovenia with Zlatorog Lasko, Routt averaged a double-double and was the top scorer on the team with 15.2 points and top rebounder with 10.3 boards per game.
It was his dream to play pro basketball and Routt isn’t taking a minute of it for granted.
“It’s a blessing really,” Routt said. “I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m trying to hold off getting a 9-5 job as long as possible. God gifted me to be tall so I’m going to take advantage of it. I’m just working everyday to make some good money and have a good experience.”
Harler was thrilled to reunite with his former teammate and was looking forward to the fun-filled weekend back in Wheeling before starting preparations this week for Wofford’s alumni team, WoCo Showtime.
“That’s my boy,” Harler said of Routt. “We (had a great weekend planned).”
Harler, Routt and the rest of the squad spoke to fans at Generations on Saturday night and took part in a camp for kids on Sunday where they taught them fundamentals and gave the youngsters of the Ohio Valley the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with their idols.
Harler is also coming off of his first pro season in Lithuania playing for Palangos Kursiai, recording 15 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game and he knows what’s at stake and what it will take to achieve the team’s ultimate goal.
“Just buy in,” Harler said. “We all have the same goal in mind and that’s to win the $1 million. So, this next week of practice will be important to us.”