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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Former high school enemies come together as teammates

Sophomore Corey Silverstrom dribbles through the defense in a game against Cal State East Bay on Feb. 5. Photo credit: Jacob Auby

When you graduate high school and move away to college, it’s a lot to take in.

For Chico State sophomore guard Corey Silverstrom, finding out that his new teammate and roommate was his old rival from high school made for a very interesting start to his college career.

“It was kind of weird the first few weeks because he wouldn’t talk to me,” Silverstrom said. “It was like he hated me.”

Sophomore guard Isaiah Ellis was less than thrilled to share a room with Silverstrom who’s team had beaten Ellis’ by five points the last time the two had met.

“The first time I heard he was coming to Chico, and heard he was going to be my roommate, I was like damn I have to hang out with this guy,” Ellis said.

Ellis, still upset about losing, was very abrupt and didn’t speak much to Silverstrom those first few weeks which made for a very tense atmosphere.

After being around each other every day and getting to know one another the feelings of hardship disappeared.

“We are actually now the best of friends,” Silverstrom said. “He’s my brother.”

Sophomore Corey Silverstrom attacks the defense in a game against Cal State East Bay on Feb. 5. Photo credit: Jacob Auby

Silverstrom, in his second year playing for the Wildcats, has gotten better in every statistical category. Last season he played about 18.6 minutes per game and only averaged 5.9 points per game. This year he has been given more playing time due to injuries and he proved to the coaches he deserves the minutes.

Silverstrom is now second on the team in minutes per game at 25.8, boosting his scoring average to 13.5 which is also second best on the team.

“I’m in a different role this year, I’m more confident and playing like myself,” Silverstrom said. “This is something I always knew I could do.”

In sports, confidence is one of the most important factors as to how well you play. With Silverstrom, it was obvious to his teammates and coaches alike that he had found his confidence.

Head assistant coach Lucas Gabriel says his work ethic along with his confidence have been the big difference this season.

“One of Corey’s biggest strengths is his confidence,” Gabriel said. “He believes in himself and his teammates.”

Silverstrom was an elite high school player and led his team to a Division I South California Championship so he is used to playing at a very high level.

“One thing he’s had since day one, is he is great with the lights on,” Gabriel said. “He likes the crowd, he likes the pressure, with the money on the line he’s at his best.”

Jason Spies can be reached at [email protected] or @Jason_Spies on Twitter.

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