By Josh Brown
TROY — Oddly enough, Grant Zawadzki’s peace of mind came with an indirect assist from a summer injury.
“Before I even found out how serious it was, they told me that they were still behind me,” he said. “They said they believed in me no matter what.”
That’s how Zawadzki knew that not only did he want to go to Indiana Wesleyan, but the Wildcats wanted him there just as strongly.
Troy Christian’s point guard, who will be entering his senior year when school begins, made his college decision over the summer, choosing to play basketball for the Indiana Wesleyan University Wildcats — the defending national champions in NAIA Division II.
“It was just a perfect fit for me,” Zawadzki said. “They’re a national basketball powerhouse program, and the culture there was just something I couldn’t pass up. They fit my belief system perfectly. Not only will they make me a better student and basketball player, but also a better person.”
And that belief system is something that’s always been important to Zawadzki, as well as Troy Christian’s boys basketball program since his father Ray Zawadzki became head coach.
“They say that ‘you’re third.’ They tell you to put God first, other second and yourself third,” Zawadzki said. “It’s not about you. It’s about others and God. A program with that type of attitude is rare to find.
“I just thought it was the perfect fit for me. God made this choice really easy for me to make.”
And it’s also a major boon for the Eagles that the choice is made so early, too. Two years ago, the team reached the Division IV state semifinal round for the first time in the program’s history, and last season the Eagles reached the regional semifinal. And the record-setting Zawadzki, who became the program’s first 1,000-point scorer last year, has been a big part of that.
“I feel like a big weight has been lifted, just knowing I have the right place,” he said. “It’s such a big decision.
“My dad and I talked about it, how it would be best to decide before the season starts. This way I can play relaxed and with a clear mind, not worry about who’s in the stands or who I have to impress. Now I can just play my game and focus on the team.”
But when Zawadzki hurt his knee partway through the summer, it seemed like his senior season was in danger. He wasn’t sure if it was an ACL injury — which could potentially cost him 12 months of rehab time — or something less serious.
Indiana Wesleyan showed just how much faith they have in Zawadzki, though.
“Before I found out if it was just my meniscus or it was my ACL, they told me they were behind me, that they believed in me,” Zawadzki said. “I say they’re the perfect fit for me. Well, they said that I was the perfect fit for them, and that I was the type of person they want in their program. That gave me peace of mind, for sure.
“They said they thought I was the type of person that could get through a serious injury, that would continue to work to get better. It was after that we found out it wasn’t as serious and it would only take a few months to rehab.”
So now Zawadzki can head into his senior year knowing that not only is he going to the perfect place for him, but that he’s the perfect fit there, too.
Contact Josh Brown at 552-2132 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.