It was everything -- the school, the area, the basketball program and its culture, future teammates, coaching staff, the distance from home, the recruiting activity and presentation. You name it and 6-foot-4 Nate Ambrosini of Fortuna High and the Norcal Wildcats not only enjoyed but reveled in it all. Now, he's sure and off the board as a future Chico State Wildcat.
Ranked No. 12 in the 2014 NorCal Preps Top 40, Ambrosini gave his recruitment a lot of serious thought. Where did he best fit? Where overall would he be the most comfortable? Coming up with an answer was no easy task as several of the candidates were attractive suitors.
Ultimately, what Chico State Head Coach Greg Clink and Assistant Coach Chris Cobb were offering won out.
"On my official visit, it was wonderful walking around campus," he recalled. Ambrosini described the hospitality he received as "jawdropping."
The recurring thought bouncing around his brain while at Chico State? "This might be the place."
Call it a positive premonition.
"I felt love from the other players on the team and from the coaches. I felt how much they wanted me. Watching practice, it was energetic and high intensity. [As a player] you want to play in front of a noisy crowd. That's something you thrive on in games. So I could see myself here."
Another separating factor was the recruitment process itself.
"I would get mail a couple of times a week. The Chico coaches seemed super excited about me."
So all this evolved into this: "I woke up on Saturday morning [November 2] and my first thought was the place I want to be is Chico."
Ambrosini decided to inform Coach Clink of his decision in person because of the amount of time and effort he and Assistant Coach Chris Cobb invested so the entire family made the four-hour drive to Chico. Catching him as he was about to drive away from campus, Ambrosini gave his Clink his pledge, thereby making the head coach's Saturday one to remember.
As for opportunity, it will abound as Chico State backcourters Rashad Parker, Giordano Estrada and Sean Park will be graduating, opening up playing time to be earned.
Choosing Chico also means family and friends can catch a number of games as the Wildcats will be matching up with Humboldt State, Cal State East Bay, Cal State Stanislaus, San Francisco State and Sonoma State, fellow members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Ambrosini wants to be a physical therapist so he will be an exercise physiology major. His 4.3 grade point average dovetails well as the Chico State squad possesses the highest of all the Wildcats men's teams.
But first the Fortuna High season awaits and Ambrosini has a number of team and individual goals to accomplish."I want to make myself better because that will make our team better and we want to win league, make it far into the NCS by winning two or three games and then win some games in the NorCal finals."