By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PUNTA GORDA — Brian Thatcher had never been to New Jersey prior to visiting Rowan University for the first time a few months ago.
One trip was enough for the Charlotte High School senior, as Thatcher will spend the next four years in the Garden State playing basketball for the Profs.
“It was a great feeling going there,” Thatcher said. “I felt everybody there was nice and outgoing. I know it’s going to be cold, but I’m ready for a new adventure.”
Thatcher made things official, as signed his letter of intent Thursday, surrounded by family, friends, teammates and Tarpons’ coach Tom Massolio.
“It’s a great accomplishment for Brian,” said Massolio, who has now seen 20 former players sign college scholarships over his 19-year career. “He’s done all the hard work. Now he gets to benefit from that, and move on to play the game he loves.”
In his senior season, Thatcher averaged 7.5 points per game, while shooting 54 percent from the field and adding three rebounds as a forward.
Rowan University is an NCAA Division III affiliated school in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. It’s located in Glassboro, N.J., which is less than 25 miles south of Philadelphia.
Basketball was a small piece in Thatcher’s decision. The education he’ll receive there was an important factor.
“The biggest part for me was engineering,” Thatcher said. “Touring that part of the school was awesome. Everything was state of the art. I can’t wait to pursue my career in chemical engineering, and play some basketball.”