QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) — They were four members of a sophomore class that continued the John Wood men’s basketball program’s winning ways and will exit with 40 victories in their two seasons together.
All four took the next step in their college basketball futures Wednesday afternoon by signing on the dotted line.
Two of those are taking the NCAA route — Aziz Fadika is heading to Quincy University and Troy Burrows is off to Benedictine University.
"I felt like it was home because the community has embraced me (and) welcomed me with open arms," Fadika said of staying in Quincy.
"Through all those schools that were talking to me, and recruiting me, I felt like (Quincy) was the right choice."
According to Burrows, "I like the campus atmosphere (and) I like the fact that it’s close to home, too. I spent two years really far away, so I’m really excited to get back towards home, and I liked everything that we talked about that they’re planning to do in the future."
Two more have pledged the NAIA ranks.
Mason Schlotzhauer becomes the latest Blazer to join Missouri Valley and Tracy Sailem isn’t going very far by choosing to lace it up at Hannibal-LaGrange.
"It presents a number of challenges because they are able to offer full (scholarships) now and you’ve got very competitive guys coming in for the full rides," Schlotzhauer said.
"It’s going to be exciting and it’s going to be tough but I look forward to the challenges."
According to Sailem, "I know my year here had its ups and downs, mainly because I wasn’t in the gym how I was suppose to be. Next year I’m not going for that. I’m going to stay in the gym (and) work on my game, so I can work on getting to a high level."
The foursome helped lead John Wood to a conference championship last season.