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Tarpon's Aguilar signs with Warner University

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Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM
TARPON SPRINGS -

After Tarpon Springs' final game of the season early last month, Coach Jerry Woodka stated with confidence that his at-the-time unsigned senior point guard would soon be making some college basketball program happy if they'd extend an offer.

That moment officially came to pass Monday afternoon in a Tarpon Springs High office with J.T. Aguilar signing his letter of intent to attend Warner University, in Lake Wales next fall.

Aguilar will leave the Spongers as their all-time leader in assists, 141; steals, 57; 3-pointers made, 49; and most varsity games played, 101. The decision to commit to Warner was an easy one after making his official visit in mid-February, he said.

"I knew right away after my visit I wanted to go there," he said during the signing-day ceremony with his parents, Woodka, Warner assistant coach David Westberry and other friends and classmates in attendance. "The campus, the coaches, I liked everything we saw there."

Warner plays basketball in the NAIA's Sun Conference, along with eight other Florida schools, including Webber International, in Babson Park, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, and Southeastern, in Lakeland.

Aguilar had been on the coaching staff's radar for some time now, Westberry said, adding that his all-around makeup will be an asset for the Royals.

"We've definitely liked everything we've seen both on and off the court," Westberry said. "That's what we're looking for, a leader at point guard. He's a floor general as you could tell when he was playing here and his stats speaks for themselves."

Along with his aforementioned statistical records, Aguilar is also No. 2 all time in points scored. The four-year varsity letterman fell 22 points shy of eclipsing that mark.

Woodka said Monday that he knows players of Aguilar's caliber – intangibles and all – don't come around too often, but the Spongers' overall program is now on as good of footing as ever because of these past four seasons.

"I couldn't tell you how many years it's going to be until we get another kid like him," Woodka said. "This moment right here; it's been well over 20 years since the last time a Tarpon kid's signed a basketball scholarship.

"So this means a lot, not only to J.T. and his family and our basketball program, but to the entire school. We're trying to get Tarpon basketball on the map. He got it started and now we're just trying to continue it."


ehorchy@suncoastnews.com (727) 815-1071

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