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Northview grad Wells headed to college level

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

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Northview graduate Nick Wells (#51) is headed to Danville Area Community College to play basketball.

Nick Wells had all but given up on a college basketball career. He graduated high school, got a job and prepared to put organized sports behind him.

After a taste of the real world, the former Northview big man promptly changed his tune.

"I wasn't even planning on going to college," he said. "But I started working at Crown (Equipment, in Greencastle) and I realized that, uh, this isn't for me.

Now he's giving college a second thought.

Wells signed a letter of intent last week to attend and play basketball for Danville Area Community College in Danville, Ill.

The NJCAA Division II Jaguars play in the Midwest Collegiate Conference. The team posted a strong finish in 2005-06, playing their way into the Region 24 championship game despite a middling 14-20 record on the season.

Wells made the decision after visiting the school, meeting Jaguars coaches and players and participating in an exhibition game.

"(The campus is) real nice," he said. "Everybody's really nice there, and all the basketball kids are really cool."

The money they're offering didn't hurt either.

"It's a full ride, so you can't really pass that up," he said.

Wells is coming off a solid senior season for the Knights. The 6'8" center led Northview in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.4 point and 9.1 rebounds a game.

He also came up big on the defensive end, recording 74 blocked shots on the season, and was named the team's Most Valuable Player.

Danville Head Coach John Spezia recognizes Wells' potential to excel at the junior-college level and beyond, but he also knows he'll need more than his considerable size to succeed.

"He's got enough size, he's got some potential, but the work ethic needs to be improved," he said. "If he wants to move up to the upper levels, that's what he's gonna need to do."

Wells has another adjustment to make as a Jaguar: Now, he won't be the only big man on campus.

He'll play alongside Sergi Struck, a 6'8" freshman from the Marion, Ind., area.

Wells is slightly taller than Struck, but his future teammate outweighs him by nearly 100 pounds.

Wells hopes to add some muscle to his 190-pound frame to compete with Struck for a starting job. He said he plans to hit the weight room hard and hope for the best.

He'll also play for a first-year head coach. Spezia is retiring as of September 1. He'll be replaced by Mike Carpenter, a long-time Danville assistant and a former high school coach at Linton and White River Valley.

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