Catholic’s Cade Ullman to play for Marietta Pioneers

Photo by Jordan Holland Parkersburg Catholic’s Cade Ullman makes a move with the ball as Notre Dame’s Jaidyn West (23) defends during a Class A state tournament game in Charleston.

PARKERSBURG — Class A first team all-state captain Cade Ullman of Parkersburg Catholic made his roundball choice official on Tuesday as the Crusaders’ all-time career leading scorer is set to play for Division III power Marietta College and head coach Jon VanderWal.

Ullman, who carries a 3.5 GPA and plans to major in accounting with hopes of becoming a CPA in the future, has his final day of school this afternoon and graduates on Friday.

“I’ve always been pretty good at math and it seemed like the right fit for me,” Ullman said of his major. “I just really like Marietta, the facilities, the coaches. I just like how they go about stuff and the atmosphere there when you’re playing is unmatched at any other Division II and really Division III school. The atmosphere there is just unreal.”

The now ex-Crusader played a key role for head coach Rob Strcula’s squad making a run to this year’s state championship game, where PCHS finished runner-up to Webster County.

Ullman was having a successful season through 10 games on the baseball diamond, but was shutdown with an injury he dealt with on the hardwood all winter long.

“I had a stress reaction, kind of close to a stress fracture,” he said. “It’s kind of like shin splits, but worse. Right now, I’m 100 percent. I don’t feel it. I’m ready to start working out and getting in the gym and stuff again.”

During the state tournament run, the Crusader said he was getting a lot of texts and looks from Division II schools.

“A lot of them wanted me to come visit, but after visiting Marietta I kind of knew,” Ullman added . “I’ve been to Division II games and seen what they are all about. Just going to Marietta before and watching their games in that atmosphere and the kind of coaches there and they’re always making deep runs in the tournament and that attracted me to go somewhere you can win. I knew that would be a great fit for me.”

Standing 6-footish, Ullman finished his career with 1,922 points and surpassed previous all-time leading scorer Tommy McCarty on senior night against Tyler Consolidated.

“Maybe a little taller (than 6 foot) with some ankle braces and shoes on,” Ullman quipped of his height.

He credited his dad for pushing him and participating in AAU as major factors in his success.

“I really developed my game in the offseason. I get after it,” Ullman added. “I’m always working on my vertical, trying to get quicker, more explosion. I’m trying to put some muscle on the upper body and I’m always in the gym shooting.

“I can play with these guys and play at that level. I think I can, but you know, we’ll see. I hope so.”

The PCHS guard, who was a two-time first team all-stater, said he came off the bench the first seven or eight contests of his freshman season and was in the starting lineup after that.

“I had a big game at Ravenswood and I started ever since,” Ullman said while adding of the career scoring record “I never really thought about it. It didn’t become a reality or that it could happen until my junior year.

“It started looking like it was within reach. I never thought about it when I was playing. Obviously, it’s really cool and I’ll remember it for the rest of my life, but I never really thought about it. It just happened.”

Ullman also said he’s familiar with a few of the MC Pioneer basketball players, including “Mike Hall from Warren and Karson Snyder from PHS. I’ve been around or been in the gym where we’ve been playing together.”

With a new challenge ahead, Ullman is ready for whatever comes his way.

“I’m sure it will be a lot different from going to school at Catholic because it will be a change, that’s for sure,” he said. “I’ll have to work pretty hard to keep my grades up and the amount of work we’ll put in as a team for basketball, it will be a challenge, but I’m ready for it.”

As far as his time as a Crusader and reaching the state title game Ullman admitted, “I’ll never forget that. That was one of the best weeks or two of basketball and being around my friends I’ll never forget it.

“It was just a surreal moment making that run and senior year making it memorable like that and going out like that, having a legit chance to win a state championship as a number six seed, which hasn’t been done before. It was a great time and I’m glad I shared a little piece of history at Catholic.”

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