TRUE TO THEIR ROOTS: Barganier, White Prepare to Close Out High School Careers
ISAIAH BARGANIER WAS RAISED IN FULSHEAR. THE SENIOR WING WENT TO LEAMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL BEFORE MOVING ON TO NEIGHBOR FULSHEAR HIGH.
Chancellor White is a Richmond native. The senior guard went to Wertheimer Middle School and is now writing his final chapter at Foster High.
In an era of high school hoops where transfers are more the norm than the exception, Barganier and White are true to home.
“It’s unfinished business here,” White said. “I never really saw myself going anywhere else. This is where I’ve always wanted to be. We’ve been talking about winning state championships since we were in seventh grade, and that’s what I want to do.”
Barganier said loyalty is in his DNA. Adversity will hit, he said, but you can’t run from it. He has had opportunities to transfer elsewhere, some of which Barganier admitted were intriguing, but ultimately stayed put.
“I’m not going to leave what I’ve built here,” White said. “This is my family. I couldn’t do that.”
Barganier and White are two of the more high-profile recruits in Lamar CISD this year. Both have successfully navigated the murky waters of recruiting.
“It takes time to see what’s real and what’s not,” Barganier said. “There’s a lot of fake faces in this game. You just have to be smart about it.”
White is a 6-foot-6 combo guard and a University of Louisiana signee. He averaged 18.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.7 steals and shot 47 percent overall last season. He felt comfortable at Louisiana, which he chose over Texas A&M. Head coach Bob Marlin coached White’s dad at Sam Houston State.
“That connection was already there,” White said. “It felt like home.”
White enters his senior season more free-minded because of the decision.
“I’ve always had fun playing the game of basketball, but it takes a lot of stress off,” White said. “Making that decision and getting it done is such a big help.”
White worked on perimeter shooting and ball-handling during the summer. He expects to have more of a lead playmaking role with this year’s Falcons, who only return two players from last season.
“We had different guys capable of stepping up and taking over last year,” White said. “This year, if we win, we all have to play together. I know I have to be more of a leader, especially early in the season.”
Barganier, who averaged 16.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season, chose to continue his career at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward had 11 offers. Barganier can play all five positions on the court, though he expects to be a wing or power forward at the next level.
He lost 20 pounds during the offseason and worked tirelessly on his explosiveness. Friends and coaches compare the lefty’s game to James Harden’s, with his ability to get to the rim or shoot from 3-point range. It was at the end of his sophomore year that Barganier’s recruiting saw an uptick.
“Since then, it’s really taken off,” Barganier said. “The good thing is knowing I’m doing something right. Every time I talk to coaches, they’re letting me know what I’m doing right or what I’m doing wrong. It’s cool to get that input and put that work into my game every day.
“The tough thing is the stress. You meet a lot of great coaches, and there’s the pressure of making the right decision. Sometimes it can get in your head. You just have to keep God with you, and he’ll lead you to the right path.”
Either way, he will accomplish his dream, which is not having his family pay for his college tuition.
Barganier will have that handled. And then he can look forward to enjoying his senior year with the Chargers and more moments like last year’s game against Terry, when he hit a turnaround jump shot in the post to beat the Rangers in overtime.
“I want to have a winning season,” Barganier said. “I think this season we have a chance to turn things around, maybe win district, and go to the playoffs.”