Local Eighth-Grader Makes College Commitment


Finley Chastain | Image by NBC DFW

A Dallas-Fort Worth area eighth-grader has committed to the University of Tennessee women’s basketball program.

Prosper ISD’s Finley Chastain recently visited the University of Tennessee campus for the second time and announced her commitment on Twitter after consulting with university leadership and her family.

“When you know, you know,” she tweeted with pictures from her visit.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Chastain trains with former college point guard Tyler Relph at his facility in Addison, where many NBA and WNBA players do the same.

Chastain has received more than 10 scholarship offers and chose Tennessee over Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, and others.

She is considered a verbal commitment and can officially commit in her junior year of high school.

While it is highly unusual for a student-athlete to commit to a school this early in the process, Finley’s dad, Shawn Chastain, says he’s not surprised by his daughter’s early decision.

“I know how blessed I am,” he told NBC 5 DFW. “It’s extremely early for someone her age to make a commitment but she’s never done anything normal, so I told her, ‘Why be normal now? Just do what you want to do.’ She’s mature enough to make that decision.”

Tennessee’s women’s basketball team is one of the powerhouses in women’s basketball.

The program rose to power under legendary head coach Pat Summitt, who coached the team for 38 seasons and won over 1,000 games, including eight national championships and 18 Final Four appearances.

The Lady Vols are consistently among the top programs in the country and have produced many WNBA players like Candace Parker, Chamique Holdsclaw, Candace Parker, and Tamika Catchings.

While Summitt has passed, her impact is still apparent throughout the program. Current Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper was a player for Summitt’s team herself, and a member of three consecutive national championship wins in the 1990s.

Chastain told the DMN that the program’s history and her relationships with the current staff were important in her decision.

“You have those places, you have those people that you know can prepare you for the next level,” she told the DMN. “Tennessee, the staff, the program, the people, the culture, the history, it just felt right.”

“I really value relationships,” she continued. “So not only to develop the relationship for four years before I get there, but also to do it with people that I want to do it with and seek out to do it. I didn’t really want to develop relationships with other coaches and other schools for four years to let them down in the end.”

Finley Chastain is a member of the 2027 recruiting class.

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22 days ago

Completely silly for an 8th grader to commit to anything