In his early high school years at Crothersville, Joe Sawyer had a dream of playing college basketball.
Unfortunately, not everybody thought that would become reality.
“I told people that is what I wanted to do, and they just laughed and said, ‘You’re too short, you’re too weak, you’re too this, you’re too that,’” Sawyer said.
However, he turned that negative into a positive.
“That is when it all started,” he said. “It became more than a game. It was my life.”
Sawyer had his first encounter with a college coach his sophomore year after a game at Brownstown. After that, he decided to make a recruiting profile and pursue a career at the college level.
“I knew it would not be easy, but through Christ, I was able to overcome anything and everything,” Sawyer said. “I had numerous colleges look at my profile and had a handful contact me personally about looking into attending their university. I had about three invite me to open gyms, and I followed through, gave it my best and played the waiting game, really.”
One of the coaches he talked to was Chad Fournie, an assistant at Lindenwood University-Belleville, an NAIA school in Belleville, Ill. Sawyer said Fournie thought his grade-point average and SAT score were good, and he wanted to see a basketball highlight video.
“He took a look at my profile and told me he thought I could make an impact on the team right away,” Sawyer said. “I found it extremely exciting to know that I had actual colleges interested in my ability to possibly make an impact on their team.”
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