Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton's Mitch McGary picks Michigan

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The pipeline from Chesterton to Ann Arbor keeps flowing.

First it was Zack Novak. Then it was Kyle Whitaker. Now, it’s Mitch McGary.

“I’m going to Michigan,” McGary said Wednesday night via phone. “I’m going to be a Wolverine.”

McGary, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward, had his choices down to three after an exhausting recruiting process that included Michigan, Duke and Florida.

“Overall, I talked it over with my parents and the other school’s were great, but I felt like Michigan was the place for me,” McGary said. “I felt the most comfortable there. I trusted Coach Beilein and his staff the most.”

Duke and Florida are top flight programs with high expectations every year, while Michigan is a pre-season top 25 team, the Wolverines are still on the way up according to McGary.

“Mostly I want to help build a team up and those teams are already winning 30+ games a year,” McGary said. “Michigan is top 25 this year, but I want to be a factor in helping achieve things. Michigan may not be a national contender right now, but I want to make an impact my freshman year and put them at that top level.”

After playing his first three seasons at Chesterton, the nation’s top-ranked power forward moved East to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

“I loved Chesterton and being there,” McGary said. “I just needed to get away and grow up a little bit and Brewster gave me that chance. There were too many distractions for me. It’s a little bit hard to believe. I didn’t really expect this.

“It’s hard work and dedication to the game I love.”

The obvious tie to Chesterton in Ann Arbor is Novak. The former Trojan was McGary’s host on his official visit.

“Zack wasn’t a key, but it’s something and he’s certainly involved,” McGary said. “He was straight-up with me. We’ve grown to be pretty good friends. He didn’t really talk about the recruiting process, just as a friend. I really appreciate that.

“I witnessed just what it’s like to be a student-athlete when I was there.”

McGary will also get to play alongside Lake Central senior Glenn Robinson III at Michigan.

“Glenn and I have always been really good friends through AAU,” McGary said. “I can’t wait to play with people I know and I got some chemistry playing with everybody just being there on the recruiting trip.”

McGary still has one more potential obstacle before he sets foot on campus in Ann Arbor next year -- the NBA.

“I’ve thought about the NBA,” McGary said. “I’m eligible, but people tell me college is the best four years of your life. I want to go to college.”

McGary’s season starts on Monday when Brewster Academy takes on CJEOTO (Central Jersey Each One Teach One) Academy.

“There is a lot of stress off my shoulders now,” McGary said. “I can just play. I have no worries anymore.”

Even though “White Chocolate” is playing his way home to the Midwest through the east coast, he hasn’t forgotten his hometown.

“I want to thank everybody from Chesterton and all the people that have supported me over the years,” McGary said. “The coaches, the faculty, the administration at CHS. All my friends, teammates and people that cheered for me. I want to thank everybody for being a big part of getting me to this point.”



Posted 11/4/2011