Tennessee State is building for the future, and Charles “Cha Cha” Tucker will be part of that transition.
The former Eastern High School point guard committed to the Tigers on Friday over interest from Mercer and Boston University.
“They just really stood out and were very consistent once they began the whole recruiting process,” Tucker said Saturday afternoon. “Really, they were the most consistent I would say with expressing their interest in me.”
Tucker is expecting to be part of a large recruiting class for new Tennessee State coach Dana Ford, who was hired last month. The Tigers are trying to bounce back from a season in which they finished 5-25 and tied for last place in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division standings.
With Ford having a track record for winning as an assistant at Wichita State and a stop at Winthrop, Tucker expects to play in role in helping the Tigers get back on track.
“At least from what they’ve told me, they’re really interested in building for the future years and allowing me to sort of be a centerpiece for building their program up,” Tucker said. “I can really see that with their coaches and where their minds are at right now and having a very good recruiting staff that they will recruit the right pieces.
“I just see myself having a big impact, kind of being a leader and being a point guard and doing what I do best. And winning.”
Tucker joins Tennessee State after spending the past two years away from the Lansing area. He left Eastern following his junior season to play at Montrose Christian in Rockville, Md. Tucker played last season at ABCD Prep, a postgraduate school in Urbandale, Iowa. He said the experience this year helped his game mature.
“It really made me grow up from a sense we played a lot of upper-echelon junior college schools that had sometimes four Division I signees, and that’s not to even mention who they may have had on their bench,” Tucker said.
“It just made me grow up from a sense of playing older guys night in and night out and guys that were going to play at that next level, which I had aspired to play at as well. And (it helped me with) just really having to prove myself and learning to play with a chip on my shoulder at all times.”