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Google this: Chua leads on, off field

After every at-bat Joshua Chua records relevant data in his notebook. Chua, a transfer, is a vital member on and off the field. (Wilmington Athletic Communications photo)
After every at-bat Joshua Chua records relevant data in his notebook. Chua, a transfer, is a vital member on and off the field. (Wilmington Athletic Communications photo)

It started with a simple Google search, and it turned into a fantastic baseball season.

Junior transfer Joshua Chua knew he wasn't destined to be a professional baseball player after three seasons at Citrus Community College in California, thus he was looking for a small college where he could get a quality degree and continue his playing career. 

"I knew at the end of the day baseball is something I wanted to pursue my entire life, but also knew that I needed a good degree," said Chua. "I knew that at the end of the day baseball is going to only last for so long, and knowing sports management was what I was wanting to get into and that I wanted to go to a small private school. My grandparents wanted me to go into an Ivy League, and I realistically could have gotten in, but I knew I wasn't going to be happy there. It wasn't something I wanted to do. So I looked up the best sports management programs for small private schools and Wilmington was at the top of the list. I applied got in and here I am. Just that easy."

Once he secured admission and made the decision go almost 2,200 miles from his community college, he reached out to Wilmington head coach Dan Cleaver to simply let the coach know his intention of attending the school.

It turned out to be a fantastic decision for both Chua and the baseball team.

Heading into the final week of the season, he is leading the team with a .328 average and a slugging percentage of .575. His six homers, 13 homers and 29 RBI are also team-highs. Chua is also third in the Ohio Athletic Conference in homers and doubles, while being ninth in RBI.

"Josh Chua has added so much to our baseball program," said head coach Dan Cleaver. "He is a talented baseball player with a major league baseball IQ. His leadership goes beyond the field. Josh is the best example of a good teammate, good citizen and good student. Our program reaps multiple benefits by having Josh Chua on our roster."

Part of Chua's success can be traced to the meticulous manner in which he attacks his at-bats, before and after.

"At the end of every at bat I go back to my notebook, and I record every pitch that I saw, what the count was, and where the location of the pitch was," said Chua. "I dabbled with it a little bit in high school at the recommendation of my hitting coach. But, I didn't really feel like I got a lot out of it. Then really started doing it toward the end of last season. I think what made a difference was I was able to start putting that information into a spread sheet, and then from there, it spits out all the data that I want to see.

"I would say it has definitely improved it by allowing me to not guess so much at the plate," Chua continued. "I know a lot of coaches have their own strategies they have their own ideas but at the end of the day baseball is baseball."

His impact extends well beyond the diamond.

A vital member of the Wilmington College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Chua has worked in the athletic department and with the softball program.

"Josh is an extraordinary young man," said Wilmington College Associate Athletic Director and head softball coach Beth Floyd. "He's hard-working in all aspects of his life. He strives to be the best he can be and committed to doing his best. Josh is a natural leader because of the strong moral foundation and his work ethic. The skies the limit for Josh he's going to do great things!

Chua's journey to Wilmington has featured three countries and a couple of states. He was born in Lancaster, England, and his family moved to a small town near Toronto, Canada within the first year. After living in Canada for 14 years, his family moved to Los Angeles. 

His father is a Christian minister in Claremont, and his mother is the assistant pastor, and they have five children with Chua being the oldest, and the only boy.

Chua has four sisters; a junior at Western Kentucky University, a freshman at Citrus Community College, a junior in high school and an eighth grader. He also reluctantly admitted to being the least athletic of the four athletes. One of his siblings never caught the sports bug, but it excelling in mathematics, said Chua.

"Honestly growing up with four sisters, if I was the youngest would have been worse, but being the oldest has not been bad at all," Chua admitted. "Three of the four (sisters) are very athletic, so we spend a lot of time playing sports together. My parents did a really good job, even though there is a nine-year age gap between my youngest sister and I, keeping us very close.

"Like if you are trying to describe your perfect picture family it would be our family," Chua added.

This summer Chua heads to Northern Ohio for a group sales internship with the Cleveland Monsters and Cleveland Gladiators.

His ultimate goal is to work in baseball analytics, and with his work ethic, the sky is the limit for Joshua Feng Zheng Chua.