Senior guard Josh Bartelstein always pushes his teammates to get better (Via MgoBlue.com - Josh Bartelstein's Profile)
There is a reason Josh Bartelstein is the captain of Michgan's basketball team despite averaging a measly 2.0 minutes per game.
Bartelstein knows that his role on the Wolverines' basketball team is to always motivate his teammates.
Legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler once said, "No man is more important than the team, no coach is more important than the team. The team, the team, the team!"
Schembechler's words will forever resonate through Michigan University athletics, but Bartelstein internalizes the late coach's teachings.
Bartelstein constantly puts other players on the team ahead of himself.
Most of Bartelstein's impact can be seen via his blog called "The Bartelstein Blog". He praises his teammates' efforts and gives these other players credit and confidence—something that a captain should do for his teammates.
After a big road win against Illinois where Michigan lost redshirt junior forward Jordan Morgan to a badly sprained ankle, Bartelstein commented on how a couple of Michigan reserves picked up their game:
Jon (Horford) and Max (Bielfeldt) stepped up once Jordan (Morgan) went down with a sprained ankle. We have a saying, "Next Man Up" when someone goes down and those two guys did a great job of stepping up. We see how hard they work in practice every day and how good they really are, but doing it in a game and helping our team get a huge win is extremely rewarding for them.
Bartelstein preaches head coach John Beilein's lessons at practice and during games. In fact, Bartelstein "coaches" or continually imparts wisdom and encouragement from the bench, showing a commitment to team improvement that his fellow Wolverine genuinely respect.
In other words, he puts his teammates first all of the time.
In his first blog post of the season, Bartelstein said, "While I don't want to write too much about me being named captain, I just want to say how much of an honor it is. Being selected at a school like Michigan is something I value greatly."
But, Bartelstein quickly shifts back to praising his teammates:
My job is actually easy with all the great leadership we already have in our locker room. Guys like Matt (Vogrich), Jordan (Morgan), Corey (Person), Eso (Akunne), Blake (McLimans), Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Trey (Burke) do an outstanding job already leading and nothing is going to change. The only difference is I get the privilege of shaking hands with the referees before games and will have the opportunity to talk to Teddy Valentine and Ed Hightower, two fan favorites.'
It's okay, Bartelstein. Michigan fans know you are a humble, classy, and always team oriented player.
But, take some credit and keep it up.
Bartelstein is the type of captain the Wolverines need. His combination of basketball intelligence, coaching instincts and motivational abilities make him an unsung hero of this Michigan basketball team.