Senior Illinois Wesleyan guard and former Effingham Flaming Hearts legend and EHS Hall of Famer Grant Wolfe made the difficult decision to end his college basketball career.
Wolfe cites an extensive concussion history as the primary reason for hanging it up, a history that goes back to his youth.
“I got one when I was really little, probably around five years old,” Wolfe said. “It was a pretty bad one. I was in the hospital for the night on that one. I got one when I was in seventh grade playing football and two more my freshman year of football.
“I took my sophomore year off and played my junior and senior year and didn’t have any problems. But this year I got two more in about a two-and-a-half week span and sat out the rest of last season.”
Wolfe explains the effects the concussions started to have on him.
“I felt okay after the first one [last season],” Wolfe said. “I honestly didn’t feel that great playing in the games. But I played and got another one in practice when we were down in Texas for a tournament. Honestly, I didn’t feel very good for about three months after that.
“I had headaches a lot, was sensitive to light and loud noises a lot of times. Even after a couple months I still felt a little off.”
While the decision wasn’t an easy one, Wolfe sat down with his family and coaches and made the decision best for him.
“I played in one scrimmage, played a few minutes and felt like I was playing not to get hurt as opposed to playing how I used to play,” Wolfe said. “I just kind of figured it’s probably time to give it up.”
Wolfe looks back on the fond memories of his basketball career, including his games in the yard against his brothers, which were sometimes some of the toughest games he would play in.
“Landon and I played two years together, football and basketball,” Wolfe said. “That was really fun. Watching Parker and Garrett come up too is really fun. We definitely still play. We played last night, me Parker and Garrett. We probably won’t stop doing that, but it’s been awesome.”
In terms of his playing career at Illinois Wesleyan, Wolfe says playing at the University of Illinois his sophomore year is his favorite memory while playing college basketball and talks about what he’ll miss most.
“The best experience was playing at the U of I,” Wolfe said. “Even though we lost, it was one of those games you never wanted to end. It was a blast.
“I’ll miss riding the bus to games with my teammates and just hanging out with them. The coaches were awesome. I had met a lot of the guys that I knew were going to come here to play and they made me feel at home. I’m definitely glad I chose Illinois Wesleyan.”
At Effingham High School, Wolfe scored 1,669 points during his career. He earned third team IHSA Class 3A All-State his senior year and fourth team IHSA Class 3A All-State his junior year. Wolfe was also a member of the All-Apollo Conference Team for three years and helped lead the Flaming Hearts to 65 wins and three conference championships during the time he was a varsity starter.