Tigard's Schalbach signs with Northwest Christian
TIGARD — It's certainly not a stretch to say that Stevie Schlabach accomplished a lot during his Tigard High School basketball career.
After all, Schlabach spent four years on the Tiger varsity team, he was named the Three Rivers League Player of the Year this past season, also, as a senior, he helped lead the Tigers to their first state tournament appearance since 2002 and, oh yeah, he's Tigard's all-time leading scorer.
After all of those accomplishments, it very well be time to move on. That's what Schlabach is going to do, and he made that official last week.
The Tigard High School senior signed his national letter of intent to play college basketball at Northwest Christian University in front of friends, family and teammates during a ceremony held Thursday at the school.
"It means a lot to me," Schlabach said. "It's pretty much the reason I started playing basketball, because I wanted to make it to the next level. This has been a goal for me, and, now that I've done it, it's a relief, and it feels good."
"It's great," Tigard varsity boys basketball coach Shawn Alderman said. "It's what everyone shoots for, and he's an even better person off the court. So that makes it worth while. Literally, I come to work everyday, and he's got that smile on his face and he'd do anything for his teammates and for his coaches. So this is just great."
Schlabach will be going to Northwest Christian University, an NAIA Division II school located in Eugene, very close to the University of Oregon campus, coming off a brilliant senior season at Tigard.
As a Tiger senior, the 6-foot-4 Schlabach helped lead the Tigers to a Class 6A state tournament berth while being named the Three Rivers League Player of the Year. He had many big games for Tigard as a senior, but his biggest might have come in the Tigers' state playoff second-round game with Barlow. In that contest, an 85-74 win which gave Tigard a tourney berth, Schlabach scored 36 points on an 11-for-11 shooting night from the field.
"Tigard will always have a place in my heart," Schlabach said. "I love this place dearly, and it's sad that I can't play here ever again, and put on a Tigard jersey ever again, but I made memories here that I will never forget. It was a great experience. My senior year here was a great experience. I think we shocked a lot of people this year."
"He's been a great scorer for us, and an even better kid off the court," Alderman said.
Northwest Christian University will now likely benefit from that great scorer, and better kid.
"He's going to be a game-changer for that program," Alderman said. "He could probably play at a higher level, but it's a good fit for him. It's a small school, and he's getting full tuition, so you can't pass that up. And he's going to have a great career there. It's a good school, and it's going to be a great fit for him."
"My sister (Barbara-Ann) goes to Oregon, and it pretty much was the best fit for me," Schlabach said. "I like the coaches, I like the team, I like the campus and I like the school."
Now, Schlabach is getting ready for basketball at the next level.
"I need to put in a lot of work in the offseason, and keep preparing myself for when the time comes," he said. "I was playing a post here in high school, and now I can get back out on the wing and expand my game a bit."
"He's got to learn to like the weight room a little bit more, but I know he'll work his tail off, and he'll do whatever that coach wants, and he'll be an immediate impact player, that's for sure," Alderman said.
Northwest Christian University, a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference, went 19-10 during the 2018-19 college basketball season.