Recently, APSU men’s basketball assistant coach Bubba Wells made the decision to take his talents to Ohio Valley Conference component Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville as an assistant coach.
In addition to Wells being the men’s assistant coach for the past 10 seasons, he also set the bar high while playing basketball for APSU. He was the first APSU player to ever reach 2,000 points finishing his career at APSU with 2,267 total points ranking third in the OVC. He was named first team All-OVC three times and was also Freshman of the Year in 1997.
During his sophomore year, he averaged 19.3 points per game, while his junior year he averaged 26.3, ranking third in the nation and receiving OVC MVP along with a NCAA tournament appearance. During his senior year, although missing the first 12 games of the season due to leg issues, Wells was named OVC player of the year.
During his debut, he had 39 points in 28 minutes and was featured on USA Today. He was the nation’s unofficial leading scorer, however it did not count because he did not play in enough games to qualify. That year, he averaged 31.7 ppg, 11 games of scoring 30 or more points, and three of those 11 games he scored 40 or more points.
In 1998, Wells #13 jersey was retired and in 2003 he was inducted into APSU’s Hall of Fame. After college, he was drafted in the second round to the Dallas Mavericks. Unfortunately, his time was cut short due to a tear in his Achilles tendon. He also spent some time with the Harlem Globetrotters.
“[Wells] is a players’ coach. He cares about the well being of players and builds a relationship with players where you trust and believe in what he says,” said Zavion Williams, former player. “[He’s] extremely talented, he’s been there and gives it to you raw. He’s a wonderful person to be around with an amazing sense of humor.”
During his time coaching at APSU, Wells helped players under him receive OVC recognition. Forward Drake Reed was named to the All-OVC first team in 2008-2009 season. Center, John Fraley was named to the All-OVC second team in the 2011-2012 season. Most recently, current center Chris Horton was named OVC All Newcomer team during his freshman year of the 2012-2013 season.
Horton said Wells had a “huge impact” on him.
“He got me comfortable playing on the collegiate level. He taught me everything I know about post play since I’ve been in college and helped me hone my skills into what I have now,” Horton said. “Him constantly being on me to get better or fixing certain things in games made me see the game in a different way. I appreciate everything he has taught me and he will continue to help me out with my basketball career if I ever need help.”
Next season will be Well’s first season on the same side of the OVC, but on a different team to root for.