(SNO) — Saint Lucian basketballer Joel Polius is carving out his niche in Jacksonville, Texas where he recently wrapped up his second and final season with the Jacksonville College men’s basketball team, the Jaguars.
Polius, a 25-year-old 6’7″ 201-pound forward, has been a rebounding machine for the school side. His prowess with the back-to-back division champions earned him an Honourable Mention this week for the Region XIV South team, and has caught the attention of several four-year schools.
In 30 games, Polius averaged 8.4 points per game, in 19.5 minutes per contest, converting at a 55.5% clip. But it was on the boards that Polius shone, pulling down 10.1 rebounds per game, good for 10th in the entire National Junior College Athletics Association, NJCAA. More crucially still, his 130 offensive rebounds placed him fifth in the NJCAA for that category.
Understandably, Polius is excited about how his last season progressed.
“This past season was my best season played here at Jacksonville College,” Polius gushes. “We had a great group of guys, who bonded really well together, building that team brotherhood needed to accomplish something that hasn’t been done in over 30 years. We had a point in our season where we were going downhill with losing games but we kept our heads together and managed to push through as a unit ending our season 20-11. So I am honoured to have played in a programme that is developing and at that changes lives.”
Aaron Smith, the head men’s basketball coach at Jacksonville College, is effusive in his praise of Polius:
“Joel has been a joy to coach these past two years,” says Coach Smith. “He has been a major part of us winning two division championships in our region. This past year he was Region XIV South Zone honourable mention all-region. He averaged over 10 rebounds a game, which is a tremendous accomplishment.”
Speaking to his Caribbean workhorse’s future, as Polius seeks to continue working to his degree, Coach Smith thinks that the young man is in a good place.
“He has not made a decision on where he will spend his last two years of college,” explains Smith. “But he has scholarship offers from multiple schools right now. Over the next few weeks he will go on visits to the schools and decide where he wishes to conclude his college career. Joel has represented our institution wonderfully both on and off the court. He obviously excelled in basketball, but he has also excelled in the classroom. Everyone from Saint Lucia should be very proud.”
Polius is mulling offers from NCAA Division 2 and NAIA Division 1 and Division 2 schools, as he completes his associate degree studies in business administration.