Junior Colin Ferrier has been playing basketball since he was six years old. It began when he asked his dad what sport he could use his hands for. He used those same hands to dribble his way into middle school, into the starting lineup on varsity his freshman year at Santa Margarita Catholic High, into a CIF championship in his sophomore year and into an All-League award he received during his junior year of high school.
Later, he found himself guarding current Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball while playing for Chino Hills High School in the opening round during playoffs his senior year. Ferrier described the NBA star as “just man amongst boys.”
“(Ball’s) basketball IQ is … really good. It was definitely tough playing against (him),” said Ferrier.
After a two-year stint at Saddleback College, Ferrier transferred to Chapman in the fall and has started every game this season.
In the Panthers’ Jan. 30 game against the Occidental College Tigers, Ferrier put his head down, methodically dribbling into the paint for kick-out passes to corner shooters. He kept his hands raised and feet sliding on defense, often guarding Zach Baines and Austin DeWitz of the Occidental Tigers, two of the top 10 leaders in points per game in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
Ferrier said during his collegiate years, and even his final season of high school, he transitioned from being a shooter to more of a defensive player. He said he tries to be the “hustle guy,” someone willing to do the dirty work.
“If I had a son, I’d want him to be like Colin Ferrier,” said head coach Mike Bokosky. “You tell him something one time, he gets it. You don’t have to repeat it over and over again, and you know he never has a bad day.”
During the first half of the game Jan. 30, Ferrier missed three shots from the field, not scoring a single point. But at the beginning of the second, he scored seven points over the course of three straight offensive possessions for the Tigers.
Ferrier said what worked for him during that stretch was simply trying to “stay aggressive.” This drive on the court is something Bokosky believes brings Ferrier closer with his teammates.
“He gives maximum effort … guys will gravitate toward him, just based on how hard he plays,” Bokosky said.
Ferrier is close with his teammates, though many basketball players are introverted, Bokosky said. Ferrier said he’s not always vocal in the locker room, and instead tries to set an example for his teammates.
“I’ve always tried to (lead) more by example … getting to practice early … (and) getting shots up afterwards,” Ferrier said.
Even after a personally successful season, Ferrier said he doesn’t play for individual statistics. He plays because he loves to play.
“Twenty to 30 years from now, you’re not really going to remember the shots that you’re taking or the games; you’re going to remember the relationships that you have,” Ferrier said.