AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Students of all ages in Nazareth filed into the high school gym on Friday. One of their own was committing to taking the next step in his athletic career.
“Its awesome," said senior basketball player Jake Gerber. "Everyone’s always backing you up, you always have support, all the time.”
Gerber signed to play basketball for the Buffs at WT- just over 30 minutes away from Nazareth.
“I thought WT was the best place for me to go," explained Gerber. "They got great coaches, great teammates, and a really successful program.”
His hometown coach, Taylor Schulte, agrees.
“That’s what the kids say, ‘oh its a small town, its hard to get out and get a scholarship to go play ball.’ If you work hard enough they find you, but that shows how much of a big deal that is to the community," said Schulte.
In such a tight knit community with a hugely successful basketball program, proximity to home is key.
“Its close too. It’ll be easy to follow, and there’s a pretty big following here in Nazareth," said Schulte. "Recruiting wise he had some choices to make, but I definitely think he chose the right program.”
There’s some unfinished business to attend to in Nazareth first. Gerber and the Swifts fell short in the state finals last year.
“I wanna win state," expressed Gerber. “That’s the big one.”
The senior knows they can do it, because of the unwavering support that the town provides.
“Its not all myself. Its my family, my teammates always pushing me, making me better. And hopefully that just carries on through this next season,” said Gerber.
But after this season ends, WT Basketball is getting an incredible addition.
“It will really be exciting for WT, a local kid coming in, them grabbing him, and he’s gonna come in there and work hard," said Schulte. "And hopefully help them out in the future to keep making these runs that they did last year.”