By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Starkville High School standout Blair Schaefer has been around basketball all her life.
Her father, Vic, has been a women’s basketball coach for 29 seasons and mother, Holly, was a former player at Arkansas State and assistant coach at UT-Arlington.
The Schaefer’s moved to Starkville last year when Vic was named the head coach at Mississippi State. On Wednesday Blair decided to join him by signing a national letter of intent to play for the Bulldogs.
“There’s always been part of me that wanted to play for my dad,” Blair Schaefer said. “It’s not really the university, I just wanted to play for a great coach and I know that my dad gets it done.”
But this is certainly not a situation where a head coach is handing out a favor to his child. Blair averaged 22.8 points, 4.6 assist, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game for the Lady Jackets as a junior last season and shot 87.7-percent from the free throw line.
She is considered a top 100 recruit nationally and is the type of player Vic would recruit regardless of the name on the back of her jersey.
“I’ve seen this evolve and develop over the course of a young person’s life,” Vic Schaefer said. “I haven’t seen too many people have the drive that she’s got. Of course I get to see it up close every day. She has worked hard for this and has earned it. I’m quite confident we’d be doing this somewhere else at some other university if I wasn’t a college basketball coach because she is a tremendous talent.”
And other programs did try.
“A bunch of coaches sent me questionnaires and letters just like Mississippi State did,” Blair Schaefer said. “When they found out I was going to Mississippi State most of them laid off but some of them told my dad, ‘I know she’d be a good player for you but she’d be a great player for me.’ They knew I’d always wanted to play for my dad but did make an effort.”
Blair is a 5-foot-7 combo guard and will likely be used in both backcourt positions once she reaches the college level next year.
“As her dad, I’d like to see her play some point (guard) but I don’t know what the coach thinks about that,” Vic Schaefer said. “She does some good things with the ball in her hands but I think she’s a natural two (guard) that could swing and play some one if you needed her to.”
It has been a special week in the Schaefer household as Blair’s twin brother, Logan, received his acceptance letter to MSU on Tuesday.