Wojcik’s Making A Name at La Lumiere

Junior is son of OV native Doug Wojcik

Photo provided by Wheeling Hospital La Lumiere junior guard Paxson Wojcik looks to make a pass during Friday night’s CRC victory against Imhotep at Wheeling Jesuit University.

WHEELING — Paxson Wojcik knew exactly what he was getting into when he made a decision to enroll at La Lumiere.

If Wojcik was going to reach the highest level of basketball he could, making a sacrifice to leave his family, friends and home in South Carolina to attend a boarding school was going to be the route to take.

Every athlete wants to play immediately, but each also understands there’s a process. That’s especially true for Wojcik, who is the son of Wheeling native and current East Carolina University assistant coach Doug Wojcik.

“I had to pay my dues (last year),” Wojcik said. “Just like in any other program, you kind of have to wait your turn, but there’s a huge opportunity for me this year to take on a bigger role.”

It’s an opportunity that Wojcik, who owns three Division I scholarship offers, doesn’t plan to let go by either.

“I know La Lu is the best place for me both as a student and as a basketball player,” Wojcik said. “I always knew I wanted to come back and finish out here.”

For the second straight year, Wojcik is able to show off some of his skills in front of several familiar faces with the Lakers taking part in this weekend’s 11th annual Cancer Research Classic at Wheeling Jesuit University.

With Wojcik scoring 14 points and sharing game MVP honors, La Lumiere got past Imhotep, which is located in Philadelphia, by a 61-51 final in the opening game of the event Friday afternoon. La Lumiere will be back on the floor at 3:10 today against the nation’s nNo. 1 team, Montverde.

“It feels great to be back,” Wojcik said. “Being familiar with the area and having some family here is always nice. This is a great event to play in and be a part of.”

Just a junior, Wojcik has seen a significant increase in minutes. La Lumiere, which won the national championship last winter, graduated nine seniors, many of whom are playing major college basketball.

Though he didn’t get the game action that maybe he had hoped for, Wojcik realized early on that there are ways to improve without being on the court during games. And being a great practice player and soaking up every thing he could were major ingredients in that recipe.

“I didn’t play too much during the games, but I knew I was going up against four- and five-star recruits during practice, so I used that opportunity to better myself,” Wojcik said. “I just went to work each and every day to try to get better.”

En route to acquiring those offers, Wojcik took his improvements to the travel ball circuit last spring and summer. It paid dividends because he caught the eye of several coaches.

“I had a big summer playing AAU,” Wojcik said. “I picked up some looks from schools that I didn’t have before and I think it’s only going to continue to pick up.”

He admitted that he’s not leaning toward a commitment or favoring any one school over another at this point. However, he does plan to decide late this summer and sign his National Letter of Intent during the early signing period next fall.

“I have a couple of schools in mind, but nothing is set,” Wojcik said.

Wojcik’s biggest improvements didn’t come in his jump shot or his ability to handle the ball. It was adjusting to the speed and physicality of playing basketball at such a high level.

“Playing with these highly recruited kids, they’re playing at a different pace, they’re stronger and bigger, so it took a little bit of time to adjust to that,” Wojcik said.

With several high academic schools seeking Wojcik’s services, maintaining his studies while playing a national type of schedule that involves significant travel, can sometimes prove to be a challenge. But, again, it’s all part of the process.

“It’s tough, but you just have to manage your time and as you travel more and more, you get more used to it,” Wojcik said. “It’s hard, though.”

k said. “It’s hard, though.”

Montverde 89

Arschbishop Wood 45

Montverde is the No. 1-ranked high school basketball team in the U.S.

It showed why against Pennsylvania state power Archbishop Wood.

With a starting lineup consisting of players who are headed to Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, Maryland and Georgia Tech, the Eagles unloaded on Wood to a tune of 89-45 in the third game of the quadruple header at the 11th annual Cancer Research Classic.

Leading the way for Montverde, which will be in action again today as the CRC wraps up at Wheeling Jesuit University’s Alma Grace McDonough Center, was the Class of 2018’s top-ranked player, R.J. Barrett, who has signed a letter of intent to Duke.

Barrett did a bit of everything, including produce a couple of highlight dunks. All told he turned in 33 points, 11 rebounds and six assists en route to game’s MVP honors.

Andrew Funk led Archbishop Wood with 16 points.

La Lumiere 61, Imhotep 51

Strong first and fourth quarters allowed No. 10 La Lumiere to pull away from No. 16 Imhotep for its 11th victory in 12 outings.

Isaiah Stewart and Paxson Wojcik shared game’s MVP honors, scoring 21 and 14 points, respectively.

Wojcik shined in the first quarter, scoring eight of his points to help spark the Lakers. He connected on 4 of 5 shots from behind the 3-point arc.

In the second half, Stewart asserted himself. He knocked down 7 of 13 shots and displayed a bevy of moves on the low block.

Imhotep had three double-figure scorers. Donta Scott led the way with 13, while Dahmir Bishop had 12 and Bernard Lightsey added 11.

IMG 70, Orlando Christian 62

After watching Orlando Christian build a nine-point lead three minutes into the second half, IMG, which is based in Bradenton, Fla.,went to work.

The Ascenders (11-3) finished the quarter on a 16-6 run and owned a 49-48 lead entering the fourth where they continued to pull away.

IMG was able to take control thanks to the play of LSU-signee Darius Days and native Australian Josh Green. Days, who was limited to a field goal in the first half, went for 11, including a stick-back dunk just before the buzzer, in the third.

Jahmius Ramsay, who finished with 22 points, was the game’s MVP. Days put forth an impressive double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Orlando Christian featured North Carolina signee Nassir Little. He was impressive from the outset, scoring 35 points with an efficient 12 of 19 from the field.

Findlay Prep 90

First Love Christian 75

Despite trailing for much of the game, the size, length and depth of Findlay Prep was too much for First Love Christian, which is based in Washington, Pa, in the nightcap.

Led by Oregon signee Bol Bol, who is the son of late NBA player, Manute, the Pilots used a fourth quarter in which they outscored First Love, 29-17 to seize the victory.

Bol finished with 34 points en route to the game’s MVP accolade. Along with his scoring production, he also grabbed eight rebonds and blocked two shots.