Torrance signs to play for Augusta Jaguars

Published 1:00 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

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Franklin High School star student-athlete Chaevon Torrance has been a significant part of the Broncos’ successful culture on the basketball court the last two years, and he has identified a similar culture at the college level to which he will become a contributor later this year.

Torrance recently announced his commitment to attend and play NCAA Division II basketball for Georgia-based Augusta University, which has given him a full athletic scholarship. He shared news of his decision during an April 15 signing ceremony in the FHS auditorium before a crowd of around 300 people that included his family, coaches and many classmates and friends.

“I really appreciate everyone taking their time to come out today, because this is a very special day for me,” he said in a speech he wrote for the ceremony. “I want to first off thank my family, my mom, both of my grandparents and all my other family that’s in attendance today. 

“My two years at Franklin High School have been very special, from the culture of the basketball program and to the brotherhood that the team has formed over the last two years,” he continued. “It has developed me for the next chapter of my life.”

Just prior to Torrance delivering his speech, Franklin Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach Robby Cutchins shared some details about how Torrance has grown and impacted the local hoops landscape over the last two years.

The coach noted that Torrance is “one of the most decorated basketball players to come out of Franklin High School in quite some time. To name some of his accolades over the last two years, his junior season he was first team all-state, he was Region 1B Player of the Year, first team all-region, first team All-Tri-Rivers District.”

Cutchins stated that during the 2022-23 season, Torrance averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and two assists per game.

“His senior season he carried it to another level,” the coach said.

During the 2023-24 season, Torrance received first team all-state, first team all-region and first team all-district accolades and was named the Tri-Rivers District Player of the Year.

Cutchins noted that Torrance averaged 21 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.6 blocks as a senior.

“In the 21 years that I’ve been involved in the program, it’s the first time we’ve ever had a player lead the district both in scoring and assists,” Cutchins said. “So kudos to Chaevon for that, because that’s a huge accomplishment.”

The coach listed Torrance’s career totals in just two years in the Broncos’ program: 1,018 points, 558 rebounds, 179 assists, 130 steals and 145 blocks.

“That’s a stat line that most programs would love to have from a four-year player,” Cutchins said. “So fortunately I was able to spend the last two years of his career with him and watch him develop to the fullest of his potential.”

In the latter half of Torrance’s speech, he stated, “I would like to thank the support from fans and the Bronco Nation for the unconditional love y’all gave me over the last two years. And lastly to my head coach, Coach Cut, he took me under his wing when I got here as a junior and kept me focused on all aspects of life, not only just basketball. Him and I have a bond that will last forever! 

“At this point in time I will be committing to Coach Metress and Augusta University,” Torrance stated in conclusion. “Thank you!”

After Torrance formally signed his commitment, Cutchins shared some details about the scholarship offer that Torrance was able to earn from Augusta due his outstanding high school career.

Cutchins noted that student-athletes transferring to different colleges amid their collegiate careers has become a popular practice, and this has contributed to most athletic scholarships being partial scholarships now, not full rides.

But Torrance is an exception to that trend.

“So to give you an idea of what this is worth to Chaevon — and his family, obviously — on an annual basis, with everything compiled, it’s going to equal out to about $36,000 per year,” Cutchins said. 

The coach added, “This $36,000 per year, as long as Chaevon does what he’s supposed to from a conduct standpoint, just like he’s done here at Franklin High School, and as long he does what he has to from an academic side of things, just like he’s done here at Franklin High School, that agreement will renew every year.”

Cutchins noted that he heard Torrance mention the word “culture” in his speech.

“I think success at the high school level, at least from a coaching standpoint, can easily be defined as culture,” Cutchins said. “I hang my hat on culture, because I believe if you show kids that you have a foundation in something and they believe in what you’re doing, then they start to believe in themselves. And if they believe in themselves, then I believe they can accomplish anything.”

The coach then applied this message to those attending Torrance’s signing ceremony.

“For you young students that are sitting out there, and I know we’ve got some seniors in here, you can do anything you set your mind to, whether it’s athletically, academic or whatever it may be,” Cutchins said. “Set your mind to something, and go accomplish your dream.”

He noted that playing basketball in college has been a dream that has belonged to Torrance for essentially his entire life.

“All he’s wanted to do is play basketball,” Cutchins said. “He understands and knows that it’s a commitment now going forward.”

The coach said there were two or three different schools that offered Torrance athletic scholarships.

What helped establish Augusta as Torrance’s choice was the outcome of an opportunity he had to fly down to the university over spring break to tour the campus and experience aspects of school life there.

Cutchins accompanied him on this trip and shared a key observation from it.

The coach said, “The cool thing that really stood out to me after he did the first tour, did the workout with the guys, played basketball and hung out that night, he said, ‘Cut, it feels like they’ve got a really good culture here.’ And I looked at him, and I grinned and I smiled and I walked away, because in his mind, he felt that he was part of a culture here at Franklin High School, and this culture here at Augusta University is going to be very similar to what he is accustomed to.”

Cutchins noted that a lot of coaches at both the high school and collegiate levels bounce around from program to program, chasing victories.

“Coach (Darren ‘Dip’) Metress has been at Augusta for 20 years now,” Cutchins said. “He’s not chasing multiple programs. He’s built a culture there, and that’s why they’ve been a basketball powerhouse at the Division II level for as long as they have. They’re two years removed from playing for the national championship.”

Cutchins explained that Torrance taking these variables into account as he made his collegiate choice is “something that really made me proud, and it showed me that Chaevon understands culture, and he knows what it takes to be successful.”

Metress expressed his excitement at having Torrance join the Augusta Jaguars.

“We think we have found a diamond in the rough at Franklin HS,” he stated. “I watched him practice during his senior year, and I thought he reminded me of quite a few players we have had here at Augusta. Franklin is in the Tidewater area but obviously not as populated as Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Hampton areas. Chaevon has a natural feel for the game and is extremely unselfish on the floor. We are extremely excited about him being part of our basketball family and university.”

Franklin High School Principal Travis Felts offered a tribute to Torrance in the opening moments of the April 15 signing ceremony.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a huge accomplishment,” Felts said. “Chaevon, everyone is extremely proud of you, and we are inspired by what you’ve already accomplished but more importantly what you will accomplish as a student-athlete at the next level. So congratulations!”

A week after Torrance’s signing, Cutchins shared a few final thoughts that summarized his reflections on Chaevon as a basketball player and as a person.

“I am extremely proud of how Chaevon has developed his game and his talents in basketball over the last two years, however, I am most proud of the young man that he has grown into over the last two years,” Cutchins said. “He has matured immensely and gained confidence that has molded him into the young man he is today. This has all prepared him for the next chapter of his life along with becoming the best man that he can be in society after basketball. I am so proud of him and look forward to seeing him spread his wings and fly.”