The exodus of talent from Chesterton's boys basketball program continues.
Sophomore Chris Palombizio announced Monday that he will attend Traders Point Christian Academy, a small, private school near Whiteland, next year.
"It's all about player development, getting better," Palombizio said. "It was a fun experience at Chesterton. I'm going to miss my friends -- Matt (Holba) and Cole (Teal) are my best friends -- but I want to play big-time basketball and it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make."
Like LaLumiere, Traders Point isn't a part of the IHSAA, but has become a launching point under coach Dave Jamerson for basketball players looking to play at a higher level of college. Chris toured the school during the weekend that his dad, Dan, was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in March and liked it.
"(Jamerson)'s a very good coach as far as developing players," Dan said. "There are a lot of variables, but that's the No. 1 factor. Agents are taking players there before the NBA draft. He played in the NBA. He's a proven coach. Chris could be a mid-major D-I, high-major D-I, depending how much progress he makes as a player. He's a gym rat. He worked out every day. It's a great opportunity for him."
Chris said that Holba's departure for Guerin Catholic has nothing to do with his decision. While Chris's mom Cheryl said the move is not a negative reflection on Chesterton, Dan indicated that he became concerned about the direction of the program after the loss to Valparaiso in the sectional.
"I felt like they weren't going anywhere as a team," Dan said. "It was time to make a change, to explore other options. Chris was averaging 17, 18 points per game the last six, seven games, and he had three shots going into the last three minutes (of that game). It's a big sacrifice for us -- our son having to leave home -- but Chris was willing to make it."
Dan said that Chris may also re-classify and have three years of school remaining because Traders Point is a prep school. Chris will live with his uncle who lives close to the school.
"I'll have no life down there," he said. "It'll be all school and basketball."
Palombizio, a 6-foot-5 wing, led Chesterton in scoring at 12.6 points per game.