||Just seconds into the Mid-Atlantic Prep League boys’ basketball game between The Hill School and Mercersburg Academy in January 2017, Hill player Ethan Norton ’17 lobbed a pass toward the far side of the rim. Seemingly out of nowhere came Chase Audige ’18, who soared above the retreating Mercersburg defender, caught the ball with an outstretched right arm, and threw down an emphatic alley-oop dunk.
Thunderous, crowd-pleasing dunks from Audige have become a staple in The Hill’s Gillison Gym throughout the past two seasons; he even broke a backboard during a pre-season workout during his fifth form (junior) year. A multi-faceted talent on the basketball court, Audige also has a deft shooting touch, sees the court with next-level vision, and is a dynamic on-ball defender.
Players boasting such a complete game typically are highly coveted, and Audige was no exception: he received 17 offers from Division 1 collegiate programs.
After carefully weighing several options regarding which school offered the best combination of academics and basketball, Audige signed a National Letter of Intent to attend The College of William and Mary.
“I am blessed to have this opportunity to pursue my passion and love for basketball in college,” Audige said. “I’m not going to be satisfied with simply making this commitment, though. I am going to work hard in the classroom and on the court to become as successful as possible and to make my family proud.”
Audige began playing basketball in elementary school after he watched his older brother play and wanted to emulate him. He recalls being more of a recreational player until he was in seventh grade, when he started playing the game more seriously.
As he entered his sophomore year of high school in New York, Audige became interested in a change of scenery and began pursuing other options. His AAU coach, Coach Moore, informed Audige’s mother, Claudette, about The Hill School; Moore’s son, Khary, did a post-graduate year at The Hill in 2002. Moore accompanied the Audige family on a visit to The Hill in 2015. Audige enjoyed his visit to The Hill and applied for admission. He was accepted and enrolled at The Hill as a repeat fourth form (sophomore) student in the fall of 2015.
Audige’s talent was instantly noticeable at The Hill. He netted 16 points in his Hill debut and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Haverford School McBride Tournament in early December of 2015. He followed up a strong first season in a Blues uniform by averaging 15 points-per-game in his junior campaign, and was named First Team All-MAPL and First-Team All-Area.
“Chase is an explosive athlete who can make shots from anywhere on the court,” said The Hill’s Associate Head Basketball Coach, Phil Canosa. “He combines a lethal pull-up jumper with the ability to attack and finish above the rim. He also has the potential to be an elite on-ball defender with his quickness and long frame.”
Outside of The Hill, Audige has spent the past two seasons playing AAU basketball for a Nike-sponsored team called the PSA Cardinals. He feels that the combination of prep and AAU – which feature two different playing styles – has helped his development as a basketball player while also providing plenty of exposure opportunities.
“Playing prep basketball has made me into a much better player,” Audige said. “The prep game is much more structured. I’ve learned how to be a better team player, both on-and-off the court. Both Hill and my AAU team play against very good teams and players, but AAU is a bit more free-flowing.”
College coaches began contacting Audige as soon as NCAA rules permit. He went on several visits and carefully considered the many factors in the college process from both the basketball and “overall school fit” perspectives.
After weighing his numerous options, Audige felt William and Mary offered everything he was looking for in a college.
“William and Mary is a great school academically, they are in a good conference, they play and beat high-major programs, and I have a chance to go there and make an impact in my first year,” Audige explained.
Audige is interested in studying business at William and Mary.