CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WBOY) – Sometimes all it takes to earn the opportunity of a lifetime is going out and performing no matter who is watching.

Avery Childers learned that better than anyone this year.

What seemed to be a regular Big X basketball game between Robert C. Byrd and Fairmont Senior turned out to be a life-changing night for Childers.

With UMass assistant coach Mike Leflar in the stands to see Mary Ostrowski Award winner Marley Washenitz for Fairmont Senior, Childers turned in a star-making performance that made a lasting impact on Leflar.

Fast forward to last month and Leflar is now the head coach of the Minutewomen and one of his first moves in charge was to get Childers to Amherst for a visit.

Less than a month later, she made her verbal commitment to UMass and she’s thrilled for the opportunity at the highest level of college basketball.

“I’m really excited. It’s a great opportunity and I can’t wait to get up there in August,” she said, “New chapter, new everything. I’m going to be 8.5 hours away from my family so it’s a big move but I’m super excited to continue my career.”

Basketball was far from the only option for Childers, a first-team all-state volleyball player and middle of the lineup power-hitter on the flying eagle softball team, but it was a personal connection to the hardwood through her father that made it the game she’ll play at the next level.

“We’ve always bonded over that and I’ve always enjoyed basketball like he does. I think down to the end of it, that was something I wanted to continue and build on to my career,” she said.

Childers still has work to do on the softball field as Robert C. Byrd faces Philip Barbour in an elimination game on Tuesday.