A dream come true: Tae Story signs to play collegiate basketball

Published 5:07 pm Monday, June 17, 2024

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As the saying goes, better late than never. The process was long for Vaderrian Story, but on Monday he finally got to realize his dream of playing collegiate basketball as he signed to play with Point University. 

Story was one of the most dynamic athletes in the state as a senior, averaging 19 points, seven rebounds and nearly four assists per game. Story was even nominated for the 2A Player of the Year award. 

The offers did not pile up for Story, but he did eventually find a home at Point. Still, Story expects nothing to be handed to him as he ventures into the college game. 

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“I’m feeling good,” Story said. “I know in the college world I’m not going to be known how I was in high school. I’ve got to restart and rebuild my legacy.” 

The small-town feel of Point University made the campus an immediate match for Story. Story had built close relationships with the coaching staff and players at LaFayette, and he believes that the Skyhawks can offer him a similar experience. 

“It felt like family every time I went in there,” Story said. “I’ve always talked about family. At LaFayette, we were always close.” 

Leaving LaFayette behind is going to be tough for Story. He built a family there, and the team surrounding him made him into the player he is today. 

Story believes that the “fun” he had as a Bulldog will be tough to leave behind, but the intensity of each LaFayette practice has prepared him for the next level. 

The opportunity to play at Point is one that Story does not take for granted because it almost did not come. Story did not have an offer from the Skyhawks until late in his recruitment process. 

Story showed up at an open gym held by Point earlier in the summer and dominated. He came out with an aggressive play style and the Skyhawks offered him a scholarship soon after. 

“I listened to a few older guys. They were just saying that I had to push it and just take control and play by myself,” Story said. 

Story’s time at LaFayette was remarkable as he led the Bulldogs to the final four as the team’s leading scorer. He continually shined on the biggest stages in high school, but he still struggled to find an opportunity at the collegiate level. 

The lack of offers could have given Story a chip on his shoulder. He does have that chip on his shoulder heading to the next level, but it’s not from the lack of college interest he received. The chip on Story’s shoulder comes from the DNA of his hometown. 

“Being from a small school, I basically come from, I wouldn’t say nothing, but I’ve built from the ground up,” Story said. “That’ll be all the chip on my shoulder I need.” 

A lot of people have been role models for Story along the way. Story was always a driven athlete because he had a lot of people to make proud, none greater than his late father. 

Story’s dad was an exceptional basketball player in his own right, and he wanted nothing more than to live up to that legacy. 

“He passed away and he always wanted one of his kids to follow in his steps, play basketball and be as great of a player as he was,” Story said. 

There were several players for the Bulldogs that were more vocal than Story. Yet, he still found himself in a leadership role during his senior season. 

Story expects to continue being a leader at Point University through his work ethic and effort every day. 

“I will always work hard and try to be the best leader,” Story said. “I might not be as vocal as I should be, but even if I’m not being vocal, I’ll try to lead by example.”

Story comes from a small town, but his support system is far from small. His friends and family showed up in droves to support his accomplishment on Monday. 

“It means everything,” Story said. “It still doesn’t even feel real. They trained up. They made sure I had what I needed. They’ve spent their last dollar on me with AAU and stuff like that. It means the world to me.” 

Several athletes have come from LaFayette and been successful at the collegiate level, but it is harder to earn the opportunity coming from a 2A school. Story hopes to be an example for kids in LaFayette who do not think this type of opportunity is possible.  

“Never think that just because you come from a small school, you can’t go out and do what you want to do,” Story said.