Athlete of the Week: Wofford's John Swinton

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - John Swinton has always workedhimself and his teammates. The proof is on the floor. Now a junior at Wofford,for the first time he's heading to the NCAA tournament.

The tournament bid comes weeks after his old high schoolteam, the Wando Warriors, picked up its first state title.

And now the junior at Wofford is this week's Athlete of theWeek.

"It's a blessing. It's a testament to our hard work. It'sbeen a lot of hard work this season and we've really dedicated ourselves. We'vecome together as a team this whole year and it's been great," he said.

Swinton has been working for this chance his entire life.From a young age he's been collecting trophies and building his basketballfuture.

"He's naturally a good basketball player and athletic, buthe's just made himself a better player. He's shaped himself into a Division Iathlete," said David Eaton, Wando's head coach. "John is a winner. Even thoughearly on in his high school career they didn't win much, I knew eventually hewouldn't give up. He would continue to work hard and encourage his teammates."

Now he and his teammates are in Milwaukee to meet MichiganThursday night in the NCAA tournament.

While Swinton is on the floor, in Mount Pleasant there willbe a few more Swintons sweating.

"I often sneak away when he's on TV. I can't stand to seehim get pushed around. But I think for this game mom's going to watch the wholething. This is one of those things that could be once in a lifetime," said hismother, Cheryl Swinton.

It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a dream come truefor John Swinton and his former coach.{}