« Men’s Basketball 2011-12

Demetrius Ward

Western Michigan
Criminal Justice


Ward is on track to earn his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in May 2012, with a minor in Sociology.  He says that barring a career in professional basketball, he intends to pursue a career as a Federal Air Marshal.


Ward has exemplified the notion that all players, no matter of their spot on the depth chart, must be prepared both physically and mentally to contribute when their name is called. Prior to the 2010-11 season, the Broncos had been picked to finish near the bottom of the MAC West division; Ward had spent his first two years with the program as a backup guard. When injuries and graduation pushed Ward to the top of the depth chart at shooting guard at the conclusion of the offseason, though, he was ready to shine. Ward started every game for WMU. The Broncos, picked to finish fourth in a six-team division, finished the season as MAC West champions for the fifth time in eight years. The Broncos’ 21 overall wins marked the eighth 20-win season in program history, and the Broncos hosted a postseason tournament game for the first time since the 2008 season. Entering his season season, Ward now actively mentors the team’s three freshman guards in practice and scrimmages, showing them the true meaning of being a Bronco. Coach Steve Hawkins cites Ward as having taken on a new leadership role among his teammates, and among the more dedicated Broncos in offseason workouts.


Off the court, Ward has been active in community-outreach programs. Along with two of his teammates, Ward spent the summer of 2011 working as a counselor at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, a temporary residence for troubled youths aged 12-18. While there, Ward spent his days mentoring the teens there, engaging in activities with them and acting as a voice of wisdom and friendship. Ward says that many times the teens there are frustrated and are simply lashing out; he believes that patience is the key to relating to them. “Being here, you have to be patient, because you’re not going to have a good day every day and sometimes kids are going to have bad days,” Ward said in a story by the Kalamazoo Gazette’s Graham Couch. “You’ve just got to be patient and willing to work with kids that are going through a lot, and everything’s not perfect in their world. You just have to be willing to open up and help kids that need help.” Ward and his teammates even brought the youths to University Arena, the home of the Broncos, for a day to give them a taste of college life. Ward said he was touched by the excitement of the youths, some of whom had never dreamed of going to college. In addition to his work at Lakeside, Ward volunteered at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Westwood, spending afternoons tutoring and mentoring children in various school subjects. Ward has also volunteered his time with International Walk to School Day, offering to walk schoolchildren to and from school.


On the court, Ward stepped into a starting role in his junior year and showed he was more than ready for the big time. Ward shot 40.6 percent from the floor and averaged 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Ward was also led the Broncos with a 39.6 three-point percentage. Ward saved his best for games against his conference opponents; his scoring average jumped to 15.6 points per game in MAC play, which ranked sixth in the conference. The rest of the conference took notice, as Ward was named second-team All-MAC. Ward enters his senior season on several All-MAC lists, including Rivals.com and Lindy’s, and the Broncos have been picked to win the MAC West division by Rivals.com, The Sporting News, Lindy’s and Athlon Sports.