After 13 years, another Fetzer will be playing on the basketball court at Cleveland State Community College.
Northwest Whitfield girls basketball standout Carley Fetzer signed a scholarship with the Tennessee junior college on Friday, allowing the 5-foot, 11-inch senior to follow in the footsteps of her older brother Justin.
“I have been at Cleveland State for 15 years, and I remember Carley coming to games as a little girl to see her brother play,” Lady Cougars coach Dan Lumpkin said. “I’ve known her and her family for a long time, and she is just a real good fit for what we are looking for from our players. She is just a good, strong inside presence.”
Fetzer averaged 9.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a senior, scoring a season-high 25 against Girls Preparatory School, which went on to claim the Tennessee Division II state championship. A power forward, Fetzer is looking forward to competing at the next level.
“I felt like I was just at the very peak of my game when the season came to an end, and I am so happy to have a chance to play at Cleveland State,” Fetzer said. “I wasn’t ready to be done with basketball.”
Fetzer was the leading scorer and leading rebounder this past season for the Lady Bruins, who finished with a 15-11 record. Their season ended with a loss to Forsyth Central in the Region 7-4A tournament quarterfinals, a win shy of making the state tournament.
“We’re so excited for Carley,” Northwest girls coach Greg Brown said. “She has worked really hard for the last four years, and she is very deserving of the opportunity that she has received to play at the next level.”
Fetzer said while she has known about Cleveland State for years, it wasn’t until she went to an open practice at the school that she really felt it was the place for her.
“I really liked the school, and just felt at home there,” she said. “I went to an open workout, and at first I was overwhelmed, but the girls were very open and welcoming and made me feel like part of the team.
The Lady Cougars went 12-16 this past season after the team suffered the loss of five players to injury, the first time in Lumpkin’s 13 years as coach that the team finished below .500.
In 2010-11, the Lady Cougars went 21-6 and finished in the National Junior College Association’s Division I Top 10.
Cleveland State has made a habit of finding talent in Georgia, with four players from last year’s roster hailing from Peach State schools. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe senior Jessica White — who played on the same team as Fetzer during the AAU summer season — is also signing with the Lady Cougars.
“We need someone coming in that can give us a good inside presence,” Lumpkin said. “(Carley) has good strength and is a good all-around athlete. She has good hands and works her feet well, and we think she can come in and help us out tremendously.”