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Former falcons reconnect, find hoops home at Aurora

By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Correspondent
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As high schoolers often do, Joel Iventosch and Martin Schubert went their separate ways after graduating from Colfax in 2008. The two never lost touch, however. Now, after attending junior colleges in different parts of the country last year, the two are basketball teammates once again – this time at Aurora University, an NCAA Division III school in Illinois. “It’s been a blast,” Iventosch said. “Martin and I are very good friends, and we were in touch frequently last year, even though we were at different junior colleges. It’s great that we’re playing together at the four-year level.” “It’s crazy how it all worked out,” Schubert said. Iventosch initially followed his older brother, Ari, to Dominican University in San Rafael. “I enjoyed Dominican, but I didn’t see it as the right place for my basketball future,” Iventosch said. After redshirting his freshman season at Dominican, he headed south to Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. After helping Cuesta reach the state junior college tournament, Iventosch decided to follow Ari yet again – this time to Aurora, where Ari had transferred for his senior season and is currently a volunteer assistant coach, according to Schubert. “He said he had a great experience and spoke highly of the school and the area,” Iventosch said. “It seemed like a good place to go to school and continue playing basketball.” Schubert went to Otero Junior College in Colorado after leaving Colfax. Both Iventosch and Ari helped persuade the former exchange student from Austria to come to Aurora. Now sophomores in terms of playing eligibility, Iventosch and Schubert are listed as guards on Aurora’s roster. Iventosch has seen more action – before Tuesday he had appeared in all 19 of the Spartans’ games, starting seven – in large part because Schubert was injured even before the team held its first official practice. “I dislocated my ankle and tore three ligaments,” Schubert said. Iventosch has averaged 7.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game. He’s also second on the Spartans (11-8, 6-5 Northern Athletic Conference) in assists (40) and free-throw percentage (.821, 32-for-39), and his 40.4 percent field goal shooting percentage ranked third among Aurora players who had attempted 80 shots or more. Schubert has only averaged 3.3 minutes in three games, but he’s 1-for-2 on field-goal attempts and has grabbed four rebounds. He expects to see his minutes increase as he eases back into the playing rotation. “I’m starting to get some of my quickness back,” Schubert said. “I haven’t played a lot because I’m behind in everything, but I hope to help the team get back to the national tournament. We’ll definitely get there.” A mathematics major who is minoring in business, Iventosch is leaning toward pursuing a master’s degree in engineering, though he’s also considering attending law school. Schubert, meanwhile, is carrying two majors (business and commerce and marketing) and two minors (professional sales and psychology). “It’s a bigger challenge, but I’ve adjusted to it,” Schubert said. “I’m doing OK in all my classes. I can handle it.” Schubert is unsure whether he plans to stay in the United States or return to Austria after he graduates. Still, he and Iventosch have at least two more years to determine their career plans. Their focus for now is on helping Aurora reach its fifth straight NCAA Division III Tournament. “Even though we’re the new guys, our goal is the same – to uphold the tradition,” Iventosch said. “That’s what we’re going to try to do.” ______________________________________________________ UP CLOSE WITH IVENTOSCH Graduated from: Colfax High (2008) Currently attending: Aurora University, Aurora, Ill. Year: Sophomore Sport: Basketball Position: Guard Height/weight: 6-foot-0, 165 pounds Major: Mathematics (minoring in business) Notable: Is now at his third school – he redshirted at Dominican University in San Rafael in 2008-09 before transferring to Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo; brother Ari is a volunteer assistant coach at Aurora; before Tuesday he had started of seven of 19 games, was second on the Spartans in assists (40) and free-throw percentage (.821, 32-of-39), and was averaging 7.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game. UP CLOSE WITH SCHUBERT Graduated from: Colfax High (2008) Currently attending: Aurora University, Aurora, Ill. Year: Sophomore Sports: Basketball Position: Guard Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds Majors: Business commerce and marketing (minoring in psychology and professional sales) Notable: Former exchange student from Austria attended Otero Junior College in Colorado before joining former Colfax teammate Joel Iventosch at Aurora; has missed most of the season with an ankle injury but has appeared in three games since his return, going 1-for-2 on field-goal attempts and grabbing four rebounds.