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Posted On: 03/5/18 8:20 AM
After piecing together one of the finest individual seasons we’ve seen in the past four years, Newton’s Garrett Sturtz has landed at a local Division I program.
It was Coach Niko Medved and his Drake staff which saw the potential Sturtz had as a college player, and the 6’3 point guard who averaged 34.7 points per game this season will suit up for the Bulldogs next fall.
He’ll be joining another former Newton standout, and one of his best friends, Connor Gholson, on the Bulldogs’ roster.
It’ll definitely be the first time two Newton Cardinals hoopsters will be on the Drake roster at the same time.
“It’s always fun to play with one of your best friends in high school, but to play with one of your best friends in college, that’s pretty remarkable,” said Sturtz.
“(Connor’s) been there since day one, kind of recruiting me. He’s been bugging me about it all year, and when I finally told him the news that I was going to come, he was pretty excited.”
But Drake was a target school for Sturtz regardless of what former teammates might’ve been there to help lure him in.
“Even if Connor wasn’t there, Drake is definitely one of the schools that I would have picked; Des Moines is on the rise, and they have a great coaching staff there that’s doing the right things on and off the court,” said Sturtz.
“It’s a system that fits my game perfectly, and I couldn’t be more excited to be coming in next year.”
The spot made available for Sturtz is as a preferred walk-on, he picked the Bulldogs over a slew of D2 schools that were very interested.
“The different schools that were on board were Queens University in North Carolina, and I was talking to Northwest Missouri State and Minnesota State-Mankato,” said Sturtz. “The one that was the other choice that I was really thinking about other than Drake was Point Loma in San Diego.”
Sturtz was planning on visiting Point Loma very soon, but then the preferred walk-on opportunity popped up. Drake was too good of a situation to pass up.
“My mom works at Central College, so I have a tuition waiver with (Drake). So my tuition will be paid for and everything, but technically, I’ll be a preferred walk-on,” said Sturtz.
He says he’ll take an online class at Drake this summer, and that will allow him to do everything involving practices and workouts that a scholarship player could do
The Bulldogs will be getting a 6-foot-3 combo-guard, a guy who led the state in scoring, regardless of class, while pouring in a whopping 34.7 points per game this winter. He also led Newton, a 4A school, in assists, blocks, steals and rebounds.
“This season was a little different, it was a new experience for me. I didn’t nearly have as big of a supporting cast as I had in the past with guys like Connor (Gholson) and Trey Vanderlaan, players like that” said Sturtz.
“I was just trying to lead a little bit better, and just trying to get some teaching into the younger guys; not just for this season, but so they can be prepared for years to come.”