Mitch McGary: America's Fastest Rising Basketball Prospect

Eric HampfordContributor IIISeptember 23, 2011

Mitch McGary
Mitch McGary

A native of the small town of Chesterton, Ind., Mitch McGary spent his first three years of high school basketball as the star of his high school team, drawing interest from some of the top college programs in the region.

However, two decisions after his junior year changed the course of his entire basketball career.

First he chose to transfer to prep school in New England, the famed Brewster Academy. The second decision was to reclassify to the class of 2012 and repeat his junior year of high school.

The rest, so to speak, is history.

After making the grade in the classroom as well as on the floor for the powerhouse prep school, McGary has taken his momentum into the Spring and Summer and catapulted himself into the national rankings as a top 20 prospect in the country…and still rising.

One thing that may have helped McGary the most was the competition he faced on a daily basis during Brewster Academy practices.  One glance at the school’s basketball roster shows class of 2011 seniors committed to Pittsburgh, Kansas, Harvard, St. John’s and Villanova.  

Add McGary and class of 2013 stud Deonte Burton, a 6'5" power guard, to the mix, and it is easy to see why practices at Brewster are such great learning experiences.

In the process of the ultra competitive season, he also transformed his body, adding muscle mass and cutting a considerable amount of fat from his frame.

When watching Mitch McGary play, it’s easy to envision a mix between a young David Lee and Tyler Hansbrough. Whether he is effortlessly running the floor, shooting left-handed fadeaways, abusing the rim with powerful dunks, or blocking shots into next Wednesday—all punctuated by electric yells—it’s a beautiful sight to any basketball fan.

The newly sculpted 6'10", 250-pound power forward/center started tearing through the basketball world in the past three months at the NY2LA Swish ‘N Dish, The Adidas May Classic, The Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the Jayhawk Invitational and the NBPA Top 100 camp.

After each event he attends, and shines during, there seems to be more and more suitors vying for the talented big man’s services.

The list of schools that have been, or are currently in regular contact with him would have any high school athlete salivating: Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Marquette, Connecticut, West Virginia, Purdue, Kansas, UCLA and Indiana are just some of the schools blowing up his phone.

At this rate, McGary might have an easier time picking a school by closing his eyes and spinning a globe.

However, when it comes to the recruiting process—dizzying to most teenagers who “blow up” as quickly has he has—he stays grounded. 

There are many words in the English language that could be used to describe Mitch McGary as a basketball player.

The one word I would choose to use is "dedicated."

The kid picked up and moved 18 hours from his home to better himself both athletically and academically. In the process, he matured and is now sitting aloft the high school basketball world.

The motto of Brewster Academy is "Live Learn Lead."

McGary has “lived” through a transition from his comfort zone as a superstar at his small-town high school to a “small fish, big pond” setting at the prestigious New Hampshire college preparatory school.

He has “learned” and matured as a student-athlete, raised his grades, improved his game as a basketball player and chiseled his body into great shape for his aspiring athletic career.

Lastly, he is “leading," blazing his own path toward stardom at a torrent pace, ready to accept all challenges that await him in his extremely bright future.

If I were you, I’d get out of his way…