With one college basketball offer and an injury that ended his junior season of high school, Las Vegas native Chris Dockery decided with his parents that the best thing he could do to be ready for college basketball was to move to Los Angeles.
Two years later, that path opened up more Division I offers and will lead him to Ogden.
Dockery is rated a three-star recruit by 247 Sports and held offers from San Diego State, Nevada, New Mexico, Fresno State and others.
Most recently, he said Nevada and Drexel were in the most contact and Oregon State had started checking him out in Los Angeles at practice for Middlebrooks Academy, but his recent experience with Weber State was too much of a good fit to keep his recruitment going.
“What made it comfortable for me is the player relationships,” Dockery said. “The relationship with Coach (Randy) Rahe and stuff, everything just clicked. Everything I was looking for in a school definitely was here that I didn’t see at other schools.”
Dockery started speaking with WSU assistant Eric Daniels about mid-August, who told him Weber had an eye on him during his summer AAU games with the Las Vegas Knicks.
A few weeks later, he spoke with Rahe on the phone and was officially offered. Two weeks ago, he took an official visit to Ogden with his parents.
“When I watched them practice, I saw how interactive the coaches were with the players. That really stood out to me. Every coach was involved and at a lot of schools, not every coach is out there with their players all the time,” Dockery said. “I saw a lot of player development stuff before practice, and that really stood out to me and showed they really care about their players.”
He spent time chatting with WSU second-year freshman Dillon Jones, who answered his questions and detailed what life would be like in the program.
“All the points he really emphasized were things on my checklist in looking for a school,” Dockery said.
Dockery’s sole offer while playing in Las Vegas was from Southern Utah, a staff with close ties to Vegas. He left for Los Angeles and graduated from Cathedral High School, across the highway from Dodger Stadium. He scored 16.5 points per game on 61% shooting in eight games, according to MaxPreps, as COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the 2020-21 schedule.
He remained there and is enrolled at Middlebrooks Academy, a prep school that operates out of Cathedral High and boasts recent alumni like Colorado alum and 76ers draft pick Tyler Bey (another Vegas to Middlebrooks player) and former Idaho State player Gary Chivichyan, who is now in the NBA G League.
Over the past year, he’s racked up offers from the aforementioned, and more California schools including San Jose State, Long Beach and Cal State Bakersfield.
“Just watched Dockery again at the #Borderleague,” tweeted Eric Bossi, 247 Sports’ national basketball director, about recent games in Arizona after seeing the news of Dockery’s commitment to Weber State. “Long, active, versatile. Should develop into a pretty high level player for them.”
Dockery said getting downhill with the ball and scoring, and his transition game, are among his strengths — but he connected with Rahe over something else.
“I love being unselfish, I love getting the ball to other people. That’s what I feel is one of the most underrated things of my game that a lot of people don’t see,” he said. “Coach Rahe saw it, though, and that’s what I also liked about it is they watched film and he saw how I love to pass the ball.”
Given his current list of offers and 20 more games to get noticed at Middlebrooks, it was possible Dockery could have courted more opportunities over the next five months. He said that wasn’t a strategy he was interested in.
“I’m just 100% locked in to Weber. Their coaching staff took a chance on me, so me being able to lock it in and focus on getting better and learning their stuff, watching how their season unfolds, it was one of my main goals not to wait around,” Dockery said. “I’ve seen a lot of people wait around and things get really disorganized and stuff, so I wanted to lock it in, start building that relationship and get ready to be on campus next year.”