By Greg Gielczyk
Now a senior, Chye has altered his game to be more of an inside threat.
Despite tweaking his ankle, and drawing extra attention from opposing defenses, Chye has continued his shooting proficiency, averaging 23.4 points a game this season.
At times, he still brings the ball up the floor and sometimes moves out on the perimeter. He is extremely versatile for the Spartans.
The four-year varsity player, who has essentially been a starter throughout, recently enjoyed a rare, and historic, moment.
Chye became only the ninth boys basketball player in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. He reached that mark on Jan. 10 when he scored 12 points in the Spartans’ 66-50 non-conference win over White Cloud.
“It’s still like kind of surreal, I guess,” Chye said several days after the game. “But, it’s a really cool accomplishment. I’m happy I got to accomplish it.
“Knowing I was probably going to get it this year, I wanted it to be a home game,” he said. “The girls had an away game that day and they weren’t there, but I wanted it to happen at a home game so that was all right.”
Jeff Carrier is the all-time leading scorer for the Spartans, having accumulated 1,423 points before graduating in 2020.
Chye recently surpassed 1983 graduate Frank Tuka. The next targets are David Soraci with 1,024 followed by Chris Raven at 1,066. Barring injury, Chye should overtake those two as well.
But, he says scoring 1,000 points was never his goal when he started out.
“I knew there was a possibility since I was a freshman,” Chye said. “Like, I had those extra games and more chances, I guess. But that was never the main goal.
“You don’t want to be selfish and take bad shots,” he said. “Jeff Carrier did it when I was a freshman and he was a senior, so that was cool watching him accomplish that. Thinking maybe I could do that one day.”
Some helpful information from Carrier came into play for Chye.
“He helped me a lot, just showing me varsity stuff and how to handle pressure,” Chye said.
Chye says he’s received a lot of tutoring on the inside game over his career from county scoring leader Steve Griswold, who graduated from Mason County Eastern.
It doesn’t bother him to not be putting up so many 3-point shots from the perimeter.
“Me being inside, that opens up outside shots for my teammates,” Chye said. “They kick it in to me, and if the defense collapses, I can just kick it out to them, and trust them to make the 3-pointers.”
The Spartans’ head coach, Tim Genson, is effusive in his praise for Chye both as a player and a person.
“Will has been somebody we’ve had to rely a great deal on (for) scoring, taking care of the ball inside and outside, and rebounding,” said Genson. “He’s been a very good player for us.
“He’s a wonderful young man. He’s a solid student and is very accountable,” Genson said. “You can count on him all the time. When you score like that, there’s more attention paid to you by the other team.”
Chye started as a freshman because the Spartans needed guard help and he demonstrated, to Genson’s satisfaction, that he could compete at the varsity level the previous summer.
Despite undergoing some growing pains adjusting to the speed of the game, Chye persevered and finished his first season as the Spartans’ second-leading scorer.
“That doesn’t happen a lot with freshmen,” Genson said. “That’s extra special. His first couple years we were developing guys, trying to get better and that sort of thing. But, as far as a guy who’s put the work in, put the effort in, has the attitude and all that stuff, Will is very deserving of that kind of milestone.”
Genson added that Chye has been more willing to get around the rim, post up and finish.
“The goal is just to win as many games as possible, and see how far we can get (in the postseason), and whatever happens with my points, happens,” Chye said.
“As long as we keep winning, that’s the main goal.”