WTMJ – Greg Matzek
One of the most historic educational institutions in the state of Wisconsin is evolving. ‘St. John’s Military Academy’ is now, ‘St. John’s Northwestern Academies’ (SJNA).
The dropping of the word “military” from its official name is not to shy away from what could be perceived as a negative connotation, but rather to signify the evolution of the college preparatory school founded in 1884.
The school’s offerings now include military, leadership and athletic academies. The latter is the most recent development.
“With AAU and club teams and club sports, there are a lot of families that are looking for schools where their child could specialize in a specific sport,” says SJNA President, Robert Fine Jr.
The athletic offerings are thanks to a partnership with Florida’s DME Academy. The leader of the basketball program at DME is former NBA sharpshooter, Wesley Person.
“He’s not here just to create future NBA’ers,” Fine continues. “He’s here to develop young men and women…we’re starting with basketball, but this is going to expand to other sports as well.”
Person is now embedded in the school’s DNA as the face of a basketball program that produced Brandin Podziemski. A first-team all-state performer in High School, Podziemski was selected in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.
“Having Brandon being drafted gives the kids an opportunity to look up to something,” Person said. “Having him drafted by the Golden State Warriors can only help.”
So too can Person, who finished his 11-year NBA career as a 41.8 percent three-point shooter.
“The opportunity to have a national team here in this area — we can tap into the Midwest and hopefully draw some interest and get kids the exposure they need.”
From Daytona Beach to Delafield, Person is looking to make a splash with local, regional, and world-wide recruiting. Having played professionally for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he knows the best way to beat the cold is to be in the gym.
Jokingly, Person quipped, “I still got my coat!”
To learn more about DME Academy at St. John’s Northwestern Academies, click here.