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Meet Chloe Chapman, The Fastest And Fanciest Freshman Around

Speed is the name of Chloe Chapman's game. The Good Counsel freshman will put it on full display this week at the Nike Tournament of Champions. Courtesy USA Basketball

Chloe Chapman started with the outline of Chris Brown's face.

The beard was easy to draw -- just a lot of quick strokes. The singer's mouth was a simple shape to capture. The nose was perhaps the most difficult part of the portrait.

"You have to get the shading perfect," said Chapman, a 5-foot-8 freshman point guard at Good Counsel (Olney, Maryland). "Any line that is off, I always go back and fix. I'm a perfectionist."

Chapman got an "A" in her Good Counsel art class -- the assignment was to draw a celebrity - and she takes those same high standards onto the basketball court.

To hear people rave about her, you could say Chapman, who is among the very best prospects in the espnW HoopGurlz Watch List for the 2019 class, is viewed as the Picasso of prep point guards.

"I've been coaching in this area for more than 30 years, and Chloe is the best guard ever to come out of the (D.C., Maryland, Virginia area)," said Robert Hildreth, who runs the Maryland Lady Terps AAU team. "I think she is the fastest high school guard in the country."

Chapman, who turns 15 on Dec. 27, made her debut for Hildreth's elite U17 team in April, competing at the Deep South Classic in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"She set the world on fire," said Hildreth, who added that Chapman averaged 14 points and 11 assists this past summer.

Two days after her first game, when college coaches could first make contact, Hildreth was flooded with phone calls and scholarship offers for his 14-year-old star.

Here's the crazy part: Chapman already has scholarship offers for soccer.

Last month, Chapman scored both goals as Good Counsel beat Bishop Ireton (Alexandria, Virginia) 2-0 to win the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference soccer championship.

Jim Bruno, who has coached Good Counsel soccer for 28 years, said Chapman is "remarkable." He compared her talent to that of former Good Counsel forward Margaret Purce, an All-Ivy League player at Harvard who has played on Team USA's U17 team.

"If Chloe decided she wanted to concentrate on soccer, she would be very successful," Bruno said. "She was our leading scorer this year even though she was a freshman and missed five games due to injuries. She had 11 goals in 12 games."

Speed -- just as it is in basketball -- is her biggest advantage in soccer.

But as much fun as she has scoring goals, Chapman sees soccer as a warm-up for her true love, basketball.

"It helps with my footwork, and it keeps me in shape," said Chapman, whose basketball talents will be on display on the big stage at the Tournament of Champions in Phoenix this week. "I like something other than having the ball in my hands. It's at my feet, and it gives me a different view of the field."

Good Counsel basketball coach Tom Splaine, whose team is 5-0 and ranked 19th heading into Friday's Nike TOC opener against No. 3 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California), said his team had exams on Thursday morning before flying out to Arizona. So far he's giving his star point guard high marks.

"Chloe fills out a stat sheet," Splaine said of Chapman, who is averaging 7.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals. "She's jumped into a tough conference as a 14-year-old playing against girls that are 17, 18 years old and are grown women almost."

QB on the court

Chapman is the daughter of Erik and Kimberly, and it is her father who -- so far at least -- has athletic bragging rights in the family.

Erik Chapman played high school basketball for legendary coach Morgan Wootten at DeMatha (Hyattsville, Maryland). Erik then went on to become the starting quarterback at Virginia Tech for the 1986 football season, which was the last under coach Bill Dooley, and 1987, the first year under Frank Beamer.

At 6-0 and 195 pounds, Erik never played pro ball, but he said his claim to fame was being the first Hokies quarterback to win a bowl game, and he preceded outstanding Virginia Tech passers Michael Vick and Tyrod Taylor, who are in the NFL.

Erik and Kimberly have two daughters: Sydney, who is at the University of Maryland and serves as the manager on the Terps' women's basketball team, and Chloe.

It was apparent early on that while Sydney was a solid athlete -- she played high school basketball -- it was Chloe who was unusually gifted.

When Chloe was just 2 or 3, Erik saw her using a plastic golf club and ball, bouncing the ball off the stick three or four times in a row. "Her hand-eye coordination for that age was extraordinary," Erik said.

Her first organized basketball game came at age 4, and Chapman schooled the competition, scoring 18 points even though she was the only girl on the team and the other kids were mostly twice her age.

At age 6, she joined her father's AAU team, the Maryland United Lady Ballers, and she again outclassed kids who were four or five years older. During conditioning drills, called "suicides," Chapman never lost a race.

And when the Chapman family got home after practice, Chloe's work had just begun. While her sister was in her room, Chloe was in the driveway practicing.

Chapman got so good that she earned the nickname "Shakes," which is stitched onto the back of her shooting shirt for the Maryland United Lady Ballers.

"I got that name a couple of years ago because I shake people down with the ball," Chapman said. "Last fall, when I was at a Maryland football game, one of the [women's basketball] recruits saw me and said, 'Hey, that's Shakes.' "

Future Terp?

Chapman is interested in studying something along the lines of architecture, engineering or graphic design in college. But where?

With her sister serving as a team manager, Maryland would seem to have an advantage.

"Maryland is 20 minutes from our house, so, from that standpoint, obviously they have the inside track," Erik said. "We've always gone to Maryland's overnight camps. They know us."

Chloe, who grew up rooting for Connecticut, said she is nowhere near making a decision.

Even though Maryland is her hometown team, geography could work against the Terps, judging by Chapman's comments on what she is looking for in a college.

"I don't want to be too close or too far," she said. "I want a team that runs in transition. And I don't want an extra small campus. Bigger is better."

While college basketball coaches recruiting Chapman scramble to pump up the size of their campuses, Chloe is having a good time being a high school kid.

She sings in the choir, puts designs on her sneakers and hopes to run track this spring, putting her blazing speed to use in the 100 and 200 meters.

But as good as she is athletically, academically and socially, Chapman still has some things to learn.

Good Counsel teammate Mariah Gray, a 5-foot-9 senior wing, said Chapman had never lifted weights before this past summer. On one occasion, Gray and another teammate, Lindsey Pulliam, were teaching the 135-pound Chapman how to do a back squat.

"It was Chloe's turn, and we put up 20 pounds -- one 10-pound weight on each side," said Gray, who said the total weight, including the bar, was 65 pounds. "Chloe did two reps until she started screaming about her neck. She kept saying, 'Ahh, my neck.'

"She couldn't rack the bar. She just stood there until Lindsey and I lifted the bar off her."

Still, Gray is among her biggest fans.

"The way she plays is fast and fancy but under control," Gray said. "You have to be ready for her passes because you never know when they're coming ... but you know it's coming.

"I wish I could play another year with her because that's how great of a player she makes you."