To Wes Wuchte, the end of the 2006-07 basketball season presented a problem he had never experienced before.
The Evans senior was staring at life without basketball.
"I've never missed a year of basketball in all my life," he said. "I couldn't imagine life without it. I love the game so much."
Wuchte ensured he would continue playing the game he loves after he signed a National Letter of Intent on Friday to play basketball at Aiken Technical College.
Wuchte said he attended a tryout at Aiken Tech this year, but his performance wasn't up to his own standards.
"I didn't think I played that well, and that's when it really hit me. I thought this was the end of the road," he said.
Wuchte said in the end it was his defensive effort that eventually landed him a spot on the Aiken Tech team. He'll join former teammate Glen Miller on the Knights squad.
While the college invite was a surprise to Wuchte, it didn't shock Evans basketball coach and athletics director Kevin Kenny.
"I remember when he was a freshman I had him in one of my classes," he said. "He walked into his second period class, took one look at him and asked if he played basketball. He just looked like a basketball player."
After learning the game of basketball at Tutt Middle School, Wuchte's size as a ninth-grader got him onto the freshman team. He was moved up to the junior varsity squad later that season. He spent the rest of his high school career on the varsity team.
"Being a basketball player at Evans helped me a lot," Wuchte said. "Even as a football player too. You get to know more people, and the coaches helped me out the most - spiritually, physically - everything."
Wuchte said he got his athleticism from his grandfather who once played football for the Augusta Eagles, a former semiprofessional football team.
Wuchte will be the first collegiate basketball player from his family, but he's not alone as a former Evans Knight bound for college. No Columbia County basketball program has produced more college athletes than Evans in recent years. Wuchte's signing was the third from the Evans basketball program in the past two seasons.
Senior Matt Clark signed with The Citadel last fall, and Miller committed to Aiken Tech after the 2005-06 season.
"I think it's a combination of the kids working hard, and the individual workouts from (assistant) coach (Roy) Peake," Kenny said. "When you've been successful recordwise, that helps, also."
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