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Waubonsee Featured Student a Leader On and Off the Basketball Court

Julianna Wadsworth is Waubonsee’s Student Success: Featured Student.

Julianna Wadsworth is perhaps best known as the Waubonsee Chiefs’ basketball star who this year became the first player in program history to top 1,000 career points, but her work ethic and tenacity extends beyond the court.

Wadsworth will complete one last class this summer at Waubonsee Community College, and will then head to Joplin, Missouri to continue her academic and athletic career at Missouri Southern, where she has accepted a full scholarship. She plans to pursue a degree in health promotions or a related field.

For her extraordinary contributions as a student athlete, Wadsworth is Waubonsee’s Student Success: Featured Student.

The Oswego East High School graduate didn’t have plans to be a college student athlete until Waubonsee Basketball Coach Jim Sury attended her regional game during her senior year of high school and convinced her to join his team at Waubonsee.

“To be honest with you I didn’t know what I was going to do after high school,” she said. “Coming to Waubonsee and playing basketball was so good for me. One of my biggest lessons was time management. Until you get to college, it’s all decided for you.”  

Wadsworth said her daily life since then has had room for little besides basketball, homework and school. Even now – during the off season – she continues doing workouts and will spend her summer helping to coach Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball.

“But it pays off,” she added. “The teachers and staff here at Waubonsee, and everyone really, has been so open and welcoming and willing to help me out.”

This year, Wadsworth led the Chiefs to their second straight NJCAA National Tournament. They also won a second straight Skyway Conference title. Wadsworth finished her Waubonsee career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,211 career points and 628 points in a season, and was named the conference’s player of the year, NJCAA Region IV first team and an NJCAA Division II Second Team All-American.

But Julianna has impressed her peers and mentors outside the basketball court as well. “

The first thought that comes to mind regarding Julianna is her tenacity to handle any obstacle that may come her way, not just in the form of a student-athlete but as an individual in her daily life,” said Melissa Forte, a counselor with Waubonsee Athletics. “She is a great teammate and leader with a kind heart who will extend herself to anyone who needs her help.”  

Forte said that Julianna is always quick to volunteer, without even being asked.

“Julianna may be tough on the exterior, but has an interior with a heart of gold,” she said. “She is pursuing a career in the medical field, which is perfect for the type of individual she is who can handle any tough situation with a gentle hand.”

Wadsworth has a brother and sister, but will be the first in her family to move away from home to attend college.

“I am excited but a little nervous about that,” she said. “I am a very family-oriented person so being the first to travel hours away for college, it’s a great opportunity.”