MONTGOMERY — The basketball season ended more than a month ago, but Cordova’s season of firsts continued on Tuesday in Montgomery.Cordova’s Isaac Chatman was named the Class 4A Player of the …
MONTGOMERY — The basketball season ended more than a month ago, but Cordova’s season of firsts continued on Tuesday in Montgomery.
Cordova’s Isaac Chatman was named the Class 4A Player of the Year at the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Mr./Miss Basketball Banquet presented by ALFA?Insurance.
Chatman’s win marked the first time a Cordova basketball player has won the award.
“Winning the championship was the cake and winning this was the icing,”?Cordova coach Heath Burns said.
Burns had two of the three Class 4A finalists with Cordova senior Jayce Willingham also making the trip to Montgomery.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’ve meant so much to me and so much to the community and the program,”?Burns said.
Cordova won its first ever AHSAA state basketball championship on March 2, beating Madison Academy 56-54. Fittingly, Chatman made a steal in the closing seconds, knocking down two free throws with four seconds remaining to earn the win at the BJCC.
Chatman, who was also a finalist each of the last two seasons, averaged 21.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game this season. He scored 2,199 points during his four years with the Blue Devils.
“It completes the circle of my high school career,”?Chatman said. “To win the championship, win the MVP of the championship game, and to get this award, seals the deal.”
Chatman admits he was nervous before his name was announced.
“It’s just one of those things. You didn’t know how it was going to go. It could go either way — and I came out with it,” he said.
Willingham was confident the award would go to one of the two Cordova finalists.
“After winning the state championship and having a stellar season, I knew one of us was going to be up there. I was happy one of us got it because I wanted us to bring it home,”?said Willingham, adding that it was the perfect ending to the season. “It’s really more than we could ask for.”
Willingham and Chatman have been part of three Final Four teams. The Blue Devils finished as runner up to Westminster Christian in 2016 and lost to eventual state champ Hale County in the first round in 2017 before getting over the hump this season. Cordova lost in the sub-region to eventual state champion West Limestone in 2015.
“My four years there have been great,” Chatman said of his time at Cordova. “Being able to play with the team that we’ve had, and this coaching staff — it will be an experience I’ll never forget.”