BENTON – The rich just keep getting richer.
After winning its third NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship, Indiana Wesleyan added a really nice piece to its future puzzle when Fairfield High School star Luke Stephens declared he is joining the Wildcats.
Stephens became the featured star for an upstart Falcons team that had its best two-year stretch in program history. As a junior, Stephens helped Fairfield shock the Class 3-A Sectional 21 after defeating heavy favorites NorthWood in the semi-finals and then continue on to win the sectional for the first time in seven years.
This season, the Falcons went on to win 19 games, including a Northeast Corner Conference championship in the process. Winning a share of the title, however, came with a price as Stephens was injured in the Central Noble clincher. His injury was evident in the sectional rematch with NorthWood as Stephens was held to a season-low with six points as the Falcons bowed out of the tournament.
Stephens averaged 15 points per game in three full varsity seasons for coach Troy Beachy’s Falcons, adding four rebounds, three assists and a steal per night over that span. Stephens became the 11th player in Fairfield boys basketball history to score 1,000 points, finishing seventh all-time in points with over 1,100 points.
Wesleyan won its third NAIA title earlier this month, defeating Crossroads League rival St. Francis in the championship game in South Dakota. Led by freshman phenom Kyle Mangas, IWU rang up a 31-7 record and won its final nine games en route to the national title. Coached by Greg Tonagel, IWU has won its three titles in the past five seasons, also winning in 2014 and 2016.