Cook signs with Wabash College

Friday, March 10, 2023
Northview's Drew Cook, seated in between his parents, signed his letter of intent to play collage basketball at Wabash College Friday afternoon.
Adler Ingalsbe photo

It was sometime during his junior season that Drew Cook had the realization that achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a collegiate basketball player could soon become reality.

Cook averaged 20.2 points per game and helped lead Northview to a 17-win season and a second straight appearance in the sectional championship game.

He rolled his strong play into the summer months during the AAU season when interested coaches were reaching out to him on a daily basis, leading to a few offers that allowed Cook to get a firm understanding that he had what it took to play at the next level.

“It was either after my junior year or the summer going into my junior year. I was playing a lot of AAU and coaches were emailing me after I had some pretty good tournaments down in Atlanta that got my name out there,” Cook recalled. “There were some small D2 colleges, D3 colleges and NAIAs that all contacted me, so I was getting a good vibe about it. And then once I got my first offer this fall, it just grew from there.”

Cook took a few visits and weighed his opportunities with the help from his parents and other family members and coaches. And on Nov. 6, three weeks before the 2022-23 season got underway, Cook announced his verbal commitment to Wabash College.

Committing before his senior season was Cook’s hope all along as it allowed the sharpshooter to focus on the task at hand with the Knights and not have any lingering thoughts on whether he was proving his worth to interested collegiate coaches.

“I knew I wanted to [commit] before my senior year. I think it took a lot of pressure off of me going into the season. I didn’t have to prove anything,” said Cook. “It also was something to look forward to. I went to a lot of Wabash games this fall and winter, so that gave me something to look forward to.”

On Friday inside Northview’s Senior Café, with his family, friends, teammates and coaches surrounding him, Cook officially became a member of the Little Giants’ program when he signed his letter of intent.

“It’s a lot of relief. It’s taken so many years for this opportunity to come. I’m just glad I get to go to a school that truly supports and cares about me,” said Cook. “I’m ready for these next four years … I’m very, very blessed to have this opportunity at Wabash.”

During his official visit on the Crawfordsville campus, it was a class he sat in on that showed him Wabash College was the place for him. Cook also noted the way the coaching staff, as well as the players, welcomed him with open arms played a pivotal role in his decision to turn his maroon and black in for red and white.

“I went to a lecture and the professors allowed me to ask questions and involved me. That made it feel like home,” said Cook. “The coaches are always checking on me. The players have all added me on Snapchat or Twitter and ask me how I’m doing and if I need anything. That made it feel like family.”

When Cook arrives on campus in the fall, he’ll have a pair of familiar faces awaiting him as former opponents in Randy Kelley (Sullivan) and Turner Royal (Bloomfield) fill two of Wabash’s roster spots.

Cook acknowledged having a personal relationship with both Kelley and Royal – both of whom Cook has gotten closer with over the past handful of months, he noted – should make the transition from high school to college that much smoother.

“I’ve gotten very close with Randy and Turner. I’ve known Randy for a while and I used to play Turner when I was down at Linton, so I’ve grown very familiar with them,” Cook said. “Next week, I’m going to stay at Wabash with Randy to get even more familiar with things. They’ve been nothing but supportive to me. We all have respect for each other on and off the court. It’s pretty neat to know people already at Wabash.”

While Cook only has a few more months left at Northview, he’ll take the memories he made during his three years with him forever.

When asked what specific moments will stand out among the rest, Cook, who leaves the program as the No. 3 all-time scorer with 1,434 career points along with numerous individual accolades, said there are two games that are ingrained in his memory – the 2021 regional championship game at Greencastle against Guerin Catholic and the 2022 sectional championship game at Edgewood against Brownstown Central.

Ironically, both games ended the season for Northview, but Cook said it was the atmosphere surrounding the games and the size of the crowd that made it fun to play on those stages. Cook credited the Northview fans, the city of Brazil and Clay County as a whole for showing up to watch them play in two of the program’s biggest games.

“The regional championship game, that was probably the best moment I had. Seeing all of the community that came out to watch our game. I still think if [Joseph Bobilya] didn’t go off against us, we probably would’ve won. It was still a great season for us during my sophomore year,” said Cook. “And then last year, it was tough to beat a Purdue commit [Jack Benter]. But anytime we went to a championship game, it was always a blessing with the community that came out.”

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