Collin Chandler stood up from the table inside the Farmington High School gym and grabbed powder cannon, the kind used when couples announce the genders of their babies in front of families and friends. His father also grabbed one, as did some other members of his family who stood next to the table, from which hung flags for BYU, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona and the University of Utah.
Chandler asked a crowd of people to count down from three and once they finished with one, he would reveal where he chose to play college basketball.
“Three ... two ... one,” the crowd shouted.
At that moment, Chandler and those closest to him twisted the cannon and released baby blue powder.
“I’m playing at BYU,” the four-star shooting guard said Wednesday.
The early signing period for Division I basketball began Wednesday and runs through Nov. 17.
Chandler, who also plays for the Utah Prospects AAU program on the adidas circuit, chose BYU over a list of suitors that included Utah, Stanford, Arizona, Gonzaga and Oregon. It is believed that Chandler had his options boiled down to Utah and BYU before ultimately choosing the Cougars.
“When I went to BYU, I felt like that was the spot for me,” Chandler said. “The culture that I got to experience while I was there, I wanted to be a part of it. I felt like the university was going to be the best thing for my life after the ball stops bouncing.”
Utah got Chandler’s final official visit over Halloween weekend. It followed his visit to BYU the previous week.
Per the 247sports composite, the 6-foot-5 Chandler, ranked No. 36 nationally in the class of 2022, is the highest-rated recruit in the history of the program.
Chandler had a breakout junior year at Farmington, where he averaged 22.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. He led the Phoenix to the 5A title game, where they lost to Lehi by just four points.
When asked by an ESPN analyst on a live stream of the announcement about his prediction for his senior year at Farmington, Chandler simply said, “Watch out.”
A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Chandler said he will embark on a two-year LDS mission after he graduates high school, which means he would not debut for BYU until the 2024-25 season, at which point the Cougars will be in the Big 12.
Chandler said when he met with coach Mark Pope and the rest of the staff at BYU, he felt like “they had the most things that they could teach me.”
“That was why BYU stood out,” Chandler said.
Chandler has been added to the USA Basketball junior national team player pool for 2022, a cycle that will include the FIBA Under-18 Americas Championship in June and the Under-17 World Cup in July. The Under-18 event will act as qualifying for the 2023 Under-19 World Cup.
Chandler opting to take his mission right out of high school would preclude him from participating with USA Basketball this summer.
Chandler shot up the ESPN rankings for top high school prospects over the summer, vaulting from the 70s into the top 30. He seems to understand that with that high ranking comes big expectations, but sounded confident.
“I plan to exceed those,” Chandler said.