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Matt Wonders Selected to NMU Sports Hall of Fame

Marquette WLUC logo Marquette WLUC 10/18/2020
a group of people standing in front of a sign: Matt Wonders, NMU Hall of Famer. © Provided by Marquette WLUC Matt Wonders, NMU Hall of Famer.


Northern Michigan University will induct five individuals and one team into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame this year. However, due to COVID-19, there will not be an in-person induction ceremony this year but these inductees will join the 2021 Homecoming celebration and induction.

One selection this year is Matt Wonders.

“It means a lot to me because being a Wildcat had such a positive impact on my life with all of the opportunities and relationships that were formed while at NMU,” Wonders said. “It was a special time for me and NMU still feels like home every time I return.”

Wonders played for the Wildcats from 1990-1995 after walking onto the team in 1990. A starter in 114 of 115 games played, Wonders earned the team’s Newcomer of the Year for 1991-1992 and was named Chairman of the Boards three seasons. He was also selected as team captain his senior year, the 1994-95 season, and earned team Most Valuable Player that season as well.

A Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection in 1993-94 and in 1994-95, he finished his career with 1,538 career points which puts him 10th all-time while his 625 rebounds puts him 17th.

He helped guide the Wildcats to a GLIAC Championship during the 1992-93 season and an upset over top seed University of Southern Indiana during the NCAA Division II Regional.

“As a redshirt freshman, Matt showed his great potential,” former NMU Head Coach Dean Ellis stated. “During his career, he was one of the most intelligent players I ever coached. He was a tremendous leader on the court and really understood what it took to win and helped his teammates to understand that.”

Wonders currently teaches physical education and health at Iron Mountain and expects to retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year. He married Julie Heldt in 1996 and the couple has two children, Carson who has been a member of the NMU Men’s Basketball team for four seasons, and Foster who is a senior at Iron Mountain High School and is committed to play basketball at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale starting next season. Julie was inducted into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2019 class.

“Great players deserve the Hall of Fame and Matt was a great player,” Ellis said. “Best thing about him is he made his players better. It’s a great family event and definitely well deserved.”

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