FAIRMONT, W.Va – Cole VonHandorf has been a leader at Fairmont State throughout his college career and is now hoping to continue playing at the next level. Little did he know, a chance meeting with former Fairmont State standout Darryl Hepburn would provide him with the platform to show what he can do.

“I never knew that that would benefit me down the road,” he said, “After the season, he got started, it’s called the Tampa Bay Pro Combine, and he helps run it and there’s analysts there and overseas guys. I was the only Division II guy and Darryl got me in. He gave me a chance so I was able to got play in that and get seen.

The 2022 Tampa Bay Combine included players such as WVU’s Taz Sherman, Tennessee’s John Fulkerson and Kentucky’s Davion Mintz. It was there that VonHandorf caught the eye of professional agents, eventually signing with Wright Sports Enterprise’s Will Wright. The focus that Wright put on off-the-court success for VonHandorf proved to be the difference maker.

“Whenever I talked to him, it was more about me as a person, always before basketball,” he said, “…just caring about me as a person and placing me somewhere I’d be happy so that was a big part in why I signed with him.”

VonHandorf averaged double figures in each of his last four years in the Friendly City and was a multiple-time All-Mountain East Conference performer, including a 2020 first team selection. He is currently preparing to take part in the Coast2Coast International Basketball Showcase in Las Vegas on July 14.