A post prospect with terrific size, skill, mobility, and toughness, Omaha (Neb.) Central 2017 power forward Isaiah Poor Bear Chandler was going to fall under the ‘steal’ category of any program fortunate enough to land him. On Sunday, New Mexico became that school, receiving a verbal commitment from one of the top players in the NY2LA Basketball Association last season. 

“I like the playing style, they play through the big man,” Chandler told NY2LA Sports. “I like the coaches, they’re really supportive. The team is a great group of guys to be around. I like the gym and the education system as well.”

Chandler had other offers from Bowling Green, Nebraska-Omaha, Southern Illinois, St. Bonaventure, Ball State, Wright State, UTEP, Buffalo, Northern Kentucky, Fort Wayne, Wichita State, and Loyola (IL).

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound senior took his official visit to New Mexico over the weekend.  “Being around the arena, it was amazing,” he said. “The coaching staff was very excited and hyped about my decision. They told me they can’t wait until I come in June.”

Chandler said his decision came down to New Mexico, Wichita State, Southern Illinois, and Northern Kentucky. He was also fielding interest from Creighton, Nebraska, Kansas State, and others this fall.  Chandler is the second-known commitment for the Lobos in 2017, joining Chris Sodom (Phoenix, Ariz.). 

“I bring a defensive-minded mentality,” he said. “I’m always going to be smiling and have a good attitude. I’m going to provide a post presence and someone they can rely on.”

Chandler played with Omaha Elite during the travel season.