Senior guard Ben Lubitz gets admitted into nursing school, leads GVSU basketball by example

GVL / Sheila Babbitt
Ben Lubitz prepares to shoot at the game vs Ashland on February 15th, 2018.

GVL / Sheila Babbitt Ben Lubitz prepares to shoot at the game vs Ashland on February 15th, 2018.

Kellen Voss, Sports Editor

It seemed liked the end of a normal Monday practice for guard Ben Lubitz and the Grand Valley State basketball team, as the senior thought nothing of it when in the post-practice speech, head coach Ric Wesley started asking the guys what they want to be when they grow up.

When Wesley reached Lubitz in the line of players and Lubitz said he wanted to be a registered nurse, Wesley was able to break the news that Lubitz had been waiting to hear since he stepped foot onto GVSU’s campus.


When Lubitz found out he had got accepted into nursing school, his face lit up with joy as he was embraced by his teammates and started sprinting around the gym out of sheer excitement.

“It was the perfect moment,” Lubitz said. “When he first told me, I was a little shocked. I didn’t believe it necessarily, but then it really hit me, and it was disbelief and true joy since it’s been something I’ve been dreaming about for so long.”

Anyone who watched the viral video of Lubitz celebrating with his teammates can see how much this team loves each other, as Lubitz couldn’t be happier to share this life-changing moment with his brothers.

“There’s no better way to celebrate that,” Lubitz said. “To celebrate with the people I love and the people I’m with everyday, and to see how happy they were for me. They know how much work I’ve put into this, and them being able to see all my hard work pay off is truly magical.”

Wesley was ecstatic to break the news to Lubitz, who at one point considered quitting the basketball team to focus on getting into the competitive GVSU medical school.

“We’ve talked many times about his desire to get into the nursing program, that’s why he came here in the first place,” Wesley said. “Ben is a super valuable member of our team, has been a hard worker, team leader, I’ve always been pulling for him. It was nice to share that moment with him.”

Starting in 14 games last season, Lubitz averaged 4.5 points per game. He is GVSU’s version of a “3-and-D” guy, providing excellent effort on the defensive end while shooting 43.8 percent from three and 84.6 percent from the free throw line last season.

Always seeing himself as a not-so-vocal leader, Lubitz has opened up this season and feels as if he is more comfortable to let his true personality show with the 2019-20 team.

“I’ve always seen myself as a guy who leads by example,” Lubitz said. “I feel a lot more comfortable in my skin this year, and so being more of a vocal leader has become my focus this year, and hopefully I can just be a good influence on the young guys.”

Maturity and leading by example has never been a problem for Lubitz, as Wesley said he is wiser beyond his years.

“Ben was 18 going on 35 when he got here,” Wesley said. “He’s been a pretty mature kid from day one. His personality has come out more and more, but he has always been a leader when it comes to work ethic.”

Hopefully that strong work ethic is contagious with this basketball team, as they welcome 11 new faces (six freshmen and five transfers) to this year’s squad. Even with all the new personalities on the team, Lubitz loves the chemistry the team is forming and feels that back-to-back GLIAC championships is a real possibility.

“That’s the plan, absolutely,” Lubitz said, regarding winning the GLIAC tournament again. “We got a lot of guys that get along well together. It’s not just about how things go on the court, but it’s also about in the locker room. We all get along well, and I think what we do off the court really translates into what we do on the court.”