It has been a long and winding road for Aaron Twist, 6-11, John A. Logan graduate who recently signed with Purdue Northwest an NCAA Division II school in Hammond, Indiana.
According to coaches Twist is ready for the move to NCAA II. "I wish we had Aaron for another year because he is ready to break out with a new school with a new head coach, said Logan coach Kyle Smithpeters. "The coaches from Northwest that recruited him feel they are getting a player ready to compete for playing time inside."
Twist has come a long way since his years at West Frankfort High School. "I was 6-11, 280 my freshman season and I was really soft," Twist said. "I got a personal trainer and trimmed down to 210 but I lacked strength. When I got to Logan the coaches really cared about me as a human being not just 6-10. I worked hard and although I didn't get a lot of playing time, I continued to improve and we won. More than anything, I want to win."
Last season, Twist played in 25 games for the Vols who were 26-6 and ranked 22nd nationally.
"Aaron didn't put up big numbers for us, but his work ethic and leadership were invaluable," Smithpeters said. "At John A. Logan he improved more than any player I have coached."
Northwest won just two games last season, but with an energetic new coach in Boomer Roberts who was 84-48 over the last four seasons at Trinity International an NAIA team in the Chicago area, they hope to turn the corner this season and Twist will provide not only size but a great work ethic and leadership.
"Aaron's size will be more advantageous at the Division II level where there will be more players his size," Smithpeters said. "He works so hard and he wants to win so bad."