Whitmer staying local, commits to play for Redwoods

Ray Hamill/ – Cody Whitmer in action for the Panthers.

By Ray Hamill — Cody Whitmer has been on the Corsairs’ radar for the past couple of seasons, but he really solidified that interest with his performance in this year’s Dick Niclai championship game.

In what was arguably the best local high school game of the school year, Whitmer led the McKinleyville Panthers back from the dead to clinch the tournament championship in dramatic fashion, the program’s first since 1997.

And that convinced College of the Redwoods head coach Ryan Bisio that Whitmer was a player he wanted playing for the Corsairs.

“We’re always attracted to winners,” Bisio said. “And Cody has proven he’s just that, leading McKinleyville to such an historic Niclai championship this year, and the fashion in which he did it really drew our attention.”

On Tuesday, in front of family and friends, Whitmer committed his future to CR, where he will join a program that will go for an historic fourth straight conference championship next winter.

According to Bisio, associate head coach Justin Claus has had his eyes on the clutch Panthers star for the past few years, and that when he saw him in action he was quickly sold.

“I heard he could shoot and once I saw him in person it verified that,” Bisio said. “I love the poise in which he plays with.”

For Whitmer, it was an easy choice to join the Corsairs in the midst of the program’s best ever era.

“I wanted to stay local,” he said. “I know the coaches and I like the vibe they give off.”

The outgoing senior should slot in nicely on a CR team that will return the majority of this year’s roster, including former Arcata Tiger Kai Purcell and Golden Valley Conference MVP Trey Neff.

And he should benefit from a coaching staff that has developed all-state selections in each of the past three seasons.

As for his role at CR, Bisio wants Whitmer to continue to do what he’s been doing for the Panthers for the past two seasons.

“I think he plays with great balance and skill and he’s more athletic than people think,” the CR coach said. “We’re going to look for him to do what he does best — shoot the ball.

“It’s a great fit for our style.”

Winning the Niclai championship in such thrilling fashion — and beating rival Arcata in the final — was a fitting way for Whitmer to close out his high school career, and he says he will remember a lot of things from his time with the Panthers.

“Mainly my teammates,” he said. “We all got along really well.”

Whitmer was this year’s Humboldt Sports Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

2 replies »

  1. Congratulations Cody! You are steller athlete. I had the joy of being to officiate you this past season. You are an outstanding player and display great sportsmanship as a player. Best of luck at CR.

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