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Lakeland College junior forward Jake Schwarz will miss the 2010-11 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Sunday, Oct. 17, during the Muskies' first practice of the season.
Last season, Schwarz, a Sheboygan South High School graduate, led the Northern Athletics Conference and finished sixth in the nation in scoring, averaging 23.1 points per game, before fracturing his kneecap with four games remaining.
"This is a significant loss for our program," said third-year Lakeland head coach Aaron Aanonsen. "Jake has been a valuable asset to our team the past two years. However, our job is to move forward and make the best of a difficult situation. We have a number of returnees and some talented newcomers, and I've been impressed with how hard we've been working the first few days of practice.
"Everyone in our program is committed to coming together and becoming a better team despite this adversity."
Schwarz will return in 2011-12 with two years of eligibility.
"My No. 1 goal is to keep a positive attitude, and become a better player and leader than I was before this injury," Schwarz said. "I will work my hardest to be the best teammate from the sidelines this season, and I look forward to getting back on the hardwood in 2011-12."
Aanonsen said Schwarz's teammates have rallied around him with their support.
"Jake has had a phenomenal attitude throughout this setback," Aanonsen said. "Lakeland basketball will be better over the long term having him in our program an extra year."
Schwarz finished among conference leaders in rebounding (9.3 per game), field goal percentage (.539) and free throw percentage (.825) last season, and he received the conference's Student-Athlete of the Week award twice.
Following the season, Schwarz was named first team All-NAC, first team All-Midwest Region by D3hoops.com and to the 2010 Inside Wisconsin Sports magazine All-State Hoops DII/DIII second team.
This preseason, Schwarz was named an Honorable Mention All-American by The Sporting News in its annual College Basketball Preview Issue. It's the first time since Lakeland switched from being an NAIA to NCAA Division III institution in 1997 that a member of the Muskies' men's basketball program has received this recognition.