Who is Charles Garcia? Not many people can say anything for sure about the widely unknown and somewhat unproven Los Angeles product. Few prospects in the upcoming NBA Draft can match the 6-9 junior’s ability to fill up a stat-sheet in the best and worst ways, and even fewer have had such a strange trip up to this point in their young careers.
After graduating from L.A’s Dorsey High, Garcia eventually found himself at Riverside Community College, where he played ball for little over a year. He made a mid-season move to Yuba Community College, with his sights set on transferring and a focus on academics. Eventually, after finally meeting NCAA academic requirements, he committed to the University of Washington to play for Lorenzo Romar. But by June 2009, only a few months before he was supposed to begin his career at UW, Garcia was told he did not meet the “standards for admission” and was forced to make other plans. He decided on nearby Seattle University with new coach Cameron Dollar, a former UW assistant coach, to begin his long-awaited Division-1 career.
The Redhawks, in only their second year competing at the D-1 level, played a much improved schedule and managed to finish a respectable 17-14 -thanks in large part to their first-year power forward. The team posted an early impressive win at Utah, led by a 24-point, 8-rebound showing from Garcia. A 50-point blowout win over Oregon State in January was the highlight of the team’s season, a game in which Garcia started and finished with 10 points. It was the same Garcia, however, who was eventually pulled from the starting five towards the end of the season for a lack of effort. The 21-year-old has everyone wondering just how much his inconsistency has hurt him when David Stern heads to the podium on June 24th.
Garcia’s torrid start to his first D-1 campaign had many pondering his NBA potential before the Redhawks’ season was even halfway over. His 18-point, 9-rebound showing against Oklahoma State in the season opener caught many off guard. Over the team’s next three games, Garcia averaged 26 points and 10 rebounds. To silence the critics complaining about a lack of competition, Garcia posted a ridiculous 41-point, 10-rebound performance against tourney-bound Wofford. Then it was 19 and 10 against the Ivy League standout Harvard Crimson. No individual showing could have been more gratifying than a 20-and-7 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion against the Huskies in late January, despite his team’s loss. By that point, Garcia’s name had begun to appear on many mock draft pages, showing up on some as a late first-round choice.
That brings us to his benching, and the subsequent fall in draft stock. Despite an undoubtedly successful first year at Seattle, many of his standout scoring lines were marred by the more negative aspects of his game. Despite his impressive season average of 18.7 points per game (good enough for 50th in the nation), Garcia also finished 11th nationally in turnovers per game. He finished second in the nation in trips to the charity stripe (304 FTA), but shot only 61.5% from the line. It’s not often a player who wins Independent Player of the Year honors is relegated to the bench in a coaching decision, but that’s exactly what happened to Garcia late in the year.
Come June 24th, one of the thirty NBA franchises will roll the dice and take a gamble on Garcia. More than likely, he’ll be a second-round selection with the odds stacked against his chances of actually cracking an NBA roster. Thus will another chapter in the wacky, up-and-down career of Charles “Chuck” Garcia begin.
What do you think? Where will Garcia be drafted?
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.