Champaign Native, Michael Finke, Verbally Commits to Illinois

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

After being offered a scholarship in October, Michael Finke decided Wednesday he will play his collegiate ball in his hometown of Champaign, IL. As a junior, Finke already had offers from Illinois, Green Bay, Iowa, Kansas State, Purdue, Wisconsin and has drawn interest from a number of other schools around the country.

Growing up in Champaign, Finke has been an Illini at heart his whole life as his father played both basketball and football for the school. “My dad asked me a couple days ago if Duke or North Carolina were to call you and say they wanted you for their program, how would you feel? After thinking about that, I knew Illinois was the right fit. It was the only school in the country I wanted to go to and I knew I had to take advantage of it,” said Finke in regards to his decision.

The 6 foot 9 inch power forward provides a valuable post presence for any team and has a jump shot that is a rare find for a guy his size. Besides his range and play in the paint, Finke is a coach’s dream as he’s known for his hard work ethic both on and off the court.

Last season, as a sophomore at Centennial High School, Finke averaged 11.4 points and nearly 7 boards per game. The junior is currently ranked 17th among power forwards for the 2014 class but I expect him to be much closer to the top of that list as he continues to develop. If Finke is going to have success in the NCAA, he is going to have to put on some weight, add some muscle, and increase his foot speed.

If he had any concerns regarding the recent coaching changes at Illinois, they went out the window as John Groce has the No. 10 Fighting Illini out to a 11-0 start in his first season as head coach.


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