Some people can slip into a career, hobby or sport by accident. For junior Chatham DeProspo, even at age three, it was by chance that she began playing soccer.
“My mom was coaching my brother’s rec soccer team, and they were four and five years old,” DeProspo said. “She didn’t have enough players, so she threw a jersey on me.”
From there, DeProspo continued to play soccer, and entering her freshman year of high school, she was recruited and asked to play at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. IMG is known for producing successful athletes such as Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore, as well as others in sports outside of soccer.
DeProspo knew it was a big opportunity for her to succeed both academically and athletically.
“I was so happy and so blessed that I got to train there with the people that I did,” she said. “All of the coaches down there helped me, and were always available to do extra work. The school was really accommodating with their athletes, and still focused on student-first, athlete-second.”
Even before attending IMG, DeProspo felt like she was talented enough to continue to play college soccer. One of her coaches growing up, Kaz Tambi, started to prepare her for playing the sport for years to come.
“He taught me a lot of things about playing the game and playing the game throughout life,” she said. “He had high hopes for me and always believed in me. That was a really cool feeling.”
Deprospo grew up in Goshen, New York. Both of her parents were involved in the legal system, with her mom being a judge, and her father being a lawyer. Lying and laziness were not exactly something the kids could get away with easily.
Her parents were the ones that instilled hard work in her to begin with, which is something DeProspo used throughout the beginnings of her athletic career.
“They raised us with the right values,” she said. “Both of them really came from nothing, so hard work was kind of a thing in our family.”
DeProspo transferred from Louisville after her freshman season and she quickly became a player that got regular playing time. Coach Wes Hart had scouted her when he was at Florida State, so the decision to go to Alabama when things did not work out at Louisville was an easy one for her.
With that, Alabama added depth to its midfield. Every soccer team needs a strong midfielder who can be a player that wins a tough challenge and turns it into an offensive opportunity. One well-placed tackle from a midfielder can turn into a scoring chance.
“She is a very aggressive player,” said junior Lacey Clarida. “She can make a huge difference in the game. The other team will have possession for a while, and Chatham will come out of nowhere and make a huge tackle and win the ball and change the momentum on the field.”
DeProspo’s season so far has been one of success. After scoring a first-half hat trick against Tennessee on the road, she was named ESPNW’s soccer player of the week, as she turned three shots into three goals. She has started every game for the Crimson Tide this season.
Many of DeProspo’s teammates speak of both her talent level and aggressiveness at her position. One in particular, sophomore Catherine Jorgensen, said her raw talent is something that can come alive at any time.
“She’s a game changer,” Jorgensen said. “100 percent. She is so tremendously talented that she, as an individual, can determine whether or not we win or lose a game.”
DeProspo and the Alabama women’s soccer team will return home Thursday night, when the Crimson Tide takes on the Ole Miss Rebels at the Alabama Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. CT.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports