Some of Charlie Yoder’s earliest memories involve a round ball, a hoop and a shiny, hard maple floor.
From the time he could walk, Charlie would go with his dDad, who coached the Westview High School Warriors varsity basketball team, to practices and games. Always one of the tallest kids in his class, Charlie demonstrated a lot of natural ability and coordination from an early age. Combine that with the deep reserves of game knowledge and hoops strategy that he absorbed from his dDad over the years should make the fact that Charlie Yoder became one of the highest achieving players in Westview High School history, a surprise to exactly no one.
During his Westview High School basketball career, the 6’ 4” southpaw shooting guard led the Warriors to four Northeast Corner Conference championships, two NECC tournament titles, a pair of sectional titles, one regional crown and a 91–19 record. In his senior year, Charlie averaged 27 points per game, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals per game, shooting more than 80% from the line and over 50% from the field as the Warriors finished at 21–4. He holds Westview’s single-game scoring record of 52 points and single-season school record with 734 points, finishing his high school basketball with a history-making 2,163 points—the most of any LaGrange County player ever.
In April of 2020, Charlie became the first Warriors player to be named to the Indiana All-Star team. Unfortunately, the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series, which had been scheduled for June, was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“That was a big disappointment,” says Charlie. “But everything was cancelled—from the NCAA championships to NBA games, so we weren’t alone…but being selected for that team is really an honor and it was tough not to be able to play.”
At the end of the season, Charlie heard from Coach Carson Cunningham at the University of the Incarnate Word with an invitation to go to school at the San Antonio- based institution and play for its Cardinals. With encouragement from Coach Cunningham, Charlie opted to do a post grad year at SPIRE Institute and Academy to start the 2020–21 season.
“I chose SPIRE because I felt it was the best place for me to get stronger, improve my game and take it to the next level,” said Yoder. “As it turned out, spending that time in SPIRE’s post grad program really helped prepare me for college. Coach John Wallace in the Performance Training Center created a plan for me that helped me gain weight, build muscle and get a whole lot stronger. Playing at such a high level improved my game and upped my mental game, too. I was even able to take some college courses online, so I didn’t lose much time at all during the COVID restrictions.”
SPIRE’s post grad basketball Coach Gravelle Craig says he believes Charlie’s best basketball is still ahead of him.
“A post grad year is a really good idea for many different kinds of players,” said Coach Craig. “Charlie came to us with great fundamentals and a really good basketball IQ. He spent part of a post grad year with us, and he got even better really fast. He worked really hard, got stronger and became even more competitive after having an opportunity to play at the level we have here.”