May 14, 2014
GALESBURG—After finishing their careers with the Carl Sandburg College men’s basketball team, Juwan Hubbard (Rockford, Ill./Guilford), Aaron Powers (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier), Mitch Wendling (Athens, Ill./Athens) and Jacob Warner (Galva, Ill./Galva) will continue to play next season at four-year institutions.
Hubbard will suit up at Georgia College, Powers at Park University, Wendling at Central Methodist University and Warner at Eureka College. Hubbard, Powers and Wendling each received athletic scholarships to continue their careers, and Warner will be reunited with former Chargers teammates Seth Wickert and Zach Grover with the Red Devils.
Hubbard, Powers, Wendling and Warner were part of Chargers teams that combined to go 37-28 over the last two seasons. They also helped lead the Chargers last season to their first Region IV tournament championship, and the program’s first appearance at the NJCAA Division II national tournament.
“This a great opportunity for each of these young men, and they’ve all put in the time and effort to earn it,” Chargers coach Ryan Twaddle said. “They did great work for us on the court, but they’ve worked just as hard off the court as well. As a coach, it’s always exciting to see your players get a chance to continue at the next level, but it’s especially true with these four because they’ve meant a lot to our program.”
Hubbard, a 6-foot guard, was a first-team All-Region IV District A and second-team All-Arrowhead Conference pick after leading the Chargers in scoring (17.3 points per game), assists (4.1) and steals (1.6) as a sophomore. He led the NJCAA Division II in free throws made and free throws attempted (225 for 303), and finished third on Sandburg’s roster with 4.6 rebounds per contest.
Hubbard started 33 of Sandburg’s 34 games this past season, scoring in double digits in 27 contests. He had at least 20 points on 13 occasions, including a career-high 36 points in the Chargers’ 89-82 win at North Central Missouri on Nov. 2.
In Sandburg’s five postseason games, Hubbard averaged 18 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.4 steals, and he was named the MVP of the Region IV District A tournament after leading the Chargers to their first region championship. Georgia College is an NCAA Division II school in Milledgeville, Ga. The Bobcats finished 10-16 overall and 6-13 in the Peach Belt Conference last season. Former Chargers standout Travis Nesby also played for the Bobcats, from 2003-05.
Powers, a 6-5 forward, started 31 games and played in all 34 of the Chargers’ contests as a sophomore. His 12.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game were good for second on the team in each category. He scored a season-best 21 points on two occasions and reached double figures in scoring 23 times. Powers also recorded a team-best eight double-doubles, including in all three of Sandburg’s victories in the Region IV tournament. Park is an NAIA Division I school located in Parkville, Mo. The Pirates finished last season 17-12 overall and 14-6 in the American Midwest Conference.
Wendling, a 6-6 forward, averaged 8.1 points and a team-best 8.4 rebounds in his sophomore season as the Chargers’ primary post presence. He scored a season-high 18 points Jan. 25 at Kishwaukee, hauled in a season-best 21 rebounds Dec. 17 against Clinton (Iowa) and recorded five double-doubles. Central Methodist is an NAIA Division I school located in Fayette, Mo. The Eagles finished last season 18-13 overall and 11-7 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Warner, a 6-1 forward, averaged 4.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, but he made his mark as one of the Chargers’ steadiest defenders. He started in 30 of his 33 games, and his 27 3-pointers were good for third on the team last season. An NCAA Division III school, Eureka finished last season 5-20 overall and 4-14 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Red Devils won three of their final four games to close last season.