FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Brent Calhoun can be found dancing in the middle of the pre-game huddle before every Fort Wayne men’s basketball. The senior center for the Dons can always be found with a smile on his face, but it hasn’t always been that easy for Brent to put on a happy face.
Coming to IPFW was not a part of the plan for Brent. The former Warren Central star originally committed to Detroit. However, his grades were not up to par and the school rescinded their scholarship. Fort Wayne kept calling after offering Brent a chance on their team. The men’s basketball program was out of scholarships so he had walk on and pay for his first year of school.
The ordeal left Brent feeling depressed. He fell back on unhealthy habits like binging on Little Debbie snacks. He had also undergone knee surgery so he was unable to work out. He gained weight and came to Fort Wayne weighing over 300 pounds.
Brent red-shirted his first year but still struggled with the adjustment. Brent’s grades slipped while his weight continued to climb. He gained another 20 pounds by the end of his sophomore year. Disappointed with his lack of playing time he approached head coach Jon Coffman with the intentions of leaving the program. Coach Coffman and Brent had a heart to heart and decided to get Brent on the straight and narrow.
Brent took the talk seriously and changed his ways. His grades improved and he spent more time in the gym. By the start of his junior year he had lost 60 pounds. He went on to start every game last season, leading Fort Wayne to a Summit League regular season title and the program’s first NIT appearance. He was also named All-Academic, a significant jump from being ineligible to play when he first arrived.
Brent has continued his success his senior season. He was key for the Dons in their win over then No. 3 Indiana in November.
Brent has one final goal to accomplish at Fort Wayne. And it is a thank you of sorts to the program that changed his life. He wants to lead Fort Wayne to a Summit League tournament title to give the program its first ever NCAA Tournament berth.
Right now Fort Wayne would be a five-seed in the Summit League Tournament which will start on March 4th.