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Legend of Foster Wonders: Before Green Bay, Phoenix guard left legacy in the UP

UWGB guard Foster Wonders is the Upper Peninsula's all-time leading scorer. We traveled to his hometown to learn more about his legendary high school career
Posted at 7:16 PM, Feb 26, 2024

IRON MOUNTAIN, MI (NBC 26) — Sophomore guard Foster Wonders has played a key role in UW-Green Bay basketball's turnaround this season, averaging eight points per game and shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.

Before he joined the Phoenix, Wonders authored a legendary career in Michigan's Upper Peninsula at Iron Mountain High School.

  • Wonders scored 2,286 points in his high school career, making him the UP's all-time leading scorer
  • He led Iron Mountain to the Michigan state tournament as a sophomore in 2019 and as a senior in 2021. The 2020 season was cut short by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Iron Mountain retired his jersey in May of 2021, shortly after he finished his career at the school
  • Wonders started his college career at Southern Illinois before transferring to Green Bay this season
  • Wonders is averaging eight points per game on 40 percent shooting from 3-point range
  • Green Bay is 12-6 in Horizon League play and in play for a first-round bye in the conference tournament

On February 10, Foster Wonders buried a game-winning shot to cap off Green Bay's biggest victory of the season at Youngstown State.
"[Coach Sundance Wicks] had the wrinkle in the play for me to come off of a screen," Wonders said, reflecting on the shot. "For him to believe in me like that and to be able to win that game was huge."

It's the biggest shot of his college career, but it comes as no surprise to his fans back home.

"He was clutch before college," Bucky Johnson, who has been the head coach at Iron Mountain for nearly 25 years, said. "Very clutch."

"If you look at the trophy case, there's probably not a lot of pictures and trophies in here that he's not a part of," Johnson said of Wonders.

The longtime coach said he still cherishes his time coaching Wonders. In fact, his office is still littered with pictures and memorabilia of the legendary Mountaineer.

"These kids have been around it their whole lives," Johnson said of his players and alumni. "Foster lived it. And his legacy just speaks for itself, it really does."

"Growing up there was really special," Wonders said of Iron Mountain.

"When we made tournament runs and made it to state championship games, the whole community was behind us," he added. "It was just really special to be around that environment."

East Lansing, where Michigan's state tournament is held, is an eight-hour drive from Iron Mountain.

After beginning his college career at Southern Illinois, Wonders said he feels he's now found something similar in Green Bay.

"Green Bay feels like home and I don't plan on leaving," he said. "Hopefully these next two years will be just as good as this year and we'll keep building on it."

And, just up the road, his hometown fans are watching with pride.

"I know Foster's living (his dream) at Green Bay now," Johnson said. "We're just all real proud of him to live his dream."