– BY MICHAEL KNIGHT
Union forwards Adrian Rodriguez and Ethan Chargois made their college intentions known on Friday night as Union hosted their “Midnight Madness” practice. October 1st is the first day teams can officially start practicing and the Redskins got things going a little after midnight. Before the practice began, surrounded by their teammates, Chargois committed to SMU and Rodriguez committed to Texas-San Antonio.
Chargois, one of the best players in the state, just took an official visit to SMU and told us that it was “amazing” earlier in the week. Chargois really enjoyed his time in Dallas but wanted to talk it over with his family first. “I really didn’t make up my mind until Wednesday,” Chargois said. “I sat down with my parents and we talked about everything SMU has to offer and we decided it was the best place for me.”
Chargois becomes the second Oklahoman to commit to SMU in their 2017 class. Central guard Elijah Landrum committed to SMU last month. If Chargois and Landrum sign with the Ponies, they’ll have four Oklahomans on the roster, joining Southeast’s Dashawn McDowell and Owasso’s Shake Milton. Chargois and Union squared off with Milton and Owasso when Chargois was a sophomore. However, it wasn’t until his visit that he really got to know the former two-time player of the year.
“I didn’t talk to him that much until my visit down there,” Chargois said. “He was a real cool guy and we message each other and text back and forth all the time now. I’m looking forward to playing with him.”
Central’s Landrum told OKPreps that he would be recruiting Chargois to join him at SMU and the Union forward admitted that Landrum took that role very seriously. “He was texting me all the time, telling me to come to SMU,” Chargois said. “Even when I was on my visit, he would ask me how my visit was going.”
Rodriguez evolved from a solid starter to a go to weapon in the post last year as a junior. With Chargois missing most of the season with an injury, Rodriguez expanded his role and ended up being one of the most improved players in the state. After a stellar summer session, Rodriguez had a handful of D1 offers and decided on UTSA.
“I love the program and what they’re doing down there,” Rodriguez said. “My family and I went down to San Antonio and they welcomed us all in with open arms an it just felt like home.”
Rodriguez will join former Memorial forward AJ Cockrell as Oklahomans on the UTSA roster next year. Rodriguez’s older brother Abel was a starter on a Union team that won the state championship in 2014. Adrian said his brother had a huge influence on the player he’s become.
“He would always tell it like it was with me,” Rodriguez said. “He wouldn’t be shy about letting me know what I was doing wrong or what I needed to work on. We would get in the gym all the time and he helped me become a better player.”
Union will enter the 2016-2017 season as one of the favorites to win the 6A state title. They captured gold balls in 2012 and 2014 and have been consistently one of the best teams in 6A basketball in this decade. Chargois, Rodriguez and company open up the season on December 6th at home against Bartlesville.