Reporter Jake Durant: Alright, I am here with Foster Wonders, who is enjoying a big day for him. He just made a commitment to Southern Illinois. Now Foster, let’s talk about Southern Illinois and why you felt it was the best fit four you. I know you were deciding amongst a variety of schools, but what separated SIU from the other schools?
Foster Wonders: “I’d have to just say it was just the relationships that I formed there. I actually got a chance to visit there last fall and meet all the players and coaches and I already had a connection to the assistant coach because it was a new coaching staff last year. He was at UW-Milwaukee, coach Pat McCormick. So I had already known him and they were on me pretty much more than anyone else that was recruiting me. So, they kind of stood out head and shoulders over everyone else. Obviously they’re in a great basketball conference, the Missouri Basketball Conference, so we knew it was pretty much a hand and glove fit. I felt like it was perfect for me.”
Jake Durant: Obviously, the process of being recruited and then choosing a school and ultimately going to play at that college is a dream every basketball player has. Talk about the process a little bit. Was it everything you expected?
Foster Wonders: “Oh yeah, it was great going through the process. There was a lot of things that I couldn’t have prepared for that were just things that you had to experience for yourself. It was just great. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It great getting to meet all the great coaches, and see so many great campuses and all that. But, i mean it had to come to an end at some point. So, I mean I feel great about my decision.”
Jake Durant: Now today is obviously a big day for you, Monday, July 13th, but it’s also your dad’s birthday. That’s a great birthday gift for your father. Talk about the importance to you to make this big decision on his special day as well.
Foster Wonders: “It was huge for me. I kind of saw it coming a little bit because I felt like I was ready to commit and I saw that it was going to be his birthday coming up so I figured why not make it a big thing for his birthday because he’s always been in the gym, putting me through workouts, rebounding for me. He’s worked so hard to help me achieve my dreams, so I figured this is a way that I could pay back a little bit of my gratitude to him and it feels really great on my end.”
Jake Durant: Any advice to the future generations, you know, players coming up on what they should do or, you know, what they should expect when getting recruited or making that push to the next level?
Foster Wonders: “I’d have to say to kids coming up, especially in the U.P, to just dream big and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. You got to believe in yourself and you got to make a lot of sacrifices. There’s going to be times where you’re not going to feel like getting a workout in or you’re not going to feel like getting the extra rest or doing the things that are necessary to make you better, but all of it, it just adds up every single day. You just have to stay committed to that to achieve your goals and you got to be dedicated. So, that’s pretty much what i’d say.”