The athletics department announced on Wednesday that graduating senior Todd Ward, a star on the court for the Stormy Petrels in each of the last four seasons, will have his jersey retired in a pregame ceremony during the 2011-12 campaign.
Ward, a forward from New Milford, Conn., put together an electrifying career for Oglethorpe, amassing 1,416 career points (4th most in OU history) and 860 career rebounds (3rd most in OU history) on his way to four postseason Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) honors. He was named league Newcomer-of-the-Year after his freshman campaign and was selected to the All-SCAC First Team in each successive season. He joins former Oglethorpe great Russ Churchwell as the only other player in Oglethorpe history to be named All-SCAC First Team in three straight seasons.
Churchwell and Ward, in fact, are linked frequently in both the Oglethorpe and SCAC record books. Ward's 860 career rebounds surpassed Churchwell, who was previously in second place, to become the SCAC's all-time leading rebounder. Churchwell, meanwhile, remains the SCAC's career scoring leader with 1,894 total points, thus giving Oglethorpe the proud distinction of owning the league's all-time leader in both points and rebounds.
"It's always great when your best player is also your hardest worker," said Oglethorpe head men's basketball coach Philip Ponder of coaching Ward. "He's certainly earned all the recognition he's gotten and I couldn't be happier to retire his jersey." On having helmed the Petrels during both Churchwell and Ward's record breaking careers, Ponder added, "I'm honored to have coached two of the finest basketball players that not only Oglethorpe, but the entire SCAC, has ever seen."
The photo below depicts Churchwell and Ward posing at this year's annual "Black and Gold" alumni game. Beneath that is a shot of Ward receiving his honorary plaque after becoming just the 26th player in Oglethorpe's 95 years of basketball history to amass 1,000 points for a career.