For junior point guard Mike Bush, it’s always been basketball.
“Not only has basketball always been my favorite sport,” he said, “but it’s the only sport that I like.”
And he’s good at it, but his play is all about his teammates.
On Jan. 14, Bush broke the Foresters’ program single-season assist record — with 10 games remaining on the regular season schedule. A month before, he set a new program record for assists in a contest, dishing out 18 in a home game against Wright State Lake. That performance also earned him Crossroads League Player of the Week honors.
At the end of high school, Bush was far from having the opportunity to accomplish such feats. Standing 5’7″, easily the shortest in the current Forester lineup, he said colleges “were scared to take the risk of giving me a chance.”
So the South Bend native took his handles and flashy passes to Lake Michigan College, a junior college.
“I had a great sophomore season, but I still didn’t attract the interest of many coaches,” Bush explained.
Following the 2015-2016 season, during which he averaged 12.2 points per game, he received MCCAA Western second team all-conference honors.
“I began to market myself,” he said. “And I came across HU, sent an e-mail to Coach Mark Green and the rest is history.”
The junior-college transfer, entering the final week of Crossroads League play, is leading his team in scoring with an average of 16.3 points per contest. He also averages an astounding 10.6 assists per game, which is also the most prolific in the conference.
“I love playing the point-guard position because I get to be the extended coach on the floor,” Bush said. ” I love seeing my teammates thrive, and through this position, I am able to spread the wealth and watch everyone become happy.”
He said his favorite part of playing for HU is coming in and contributing to the “changing culture.”
“I love the fact that I’m a part of a positive brotherhood that is bigger than just basketball,” Bush said. “And my absolute favorite thing about being a part of this team is we all promote Christ — players one through 13.”
Bush said his faith has always played a role in his sport.
“It’s a blessing to be able to wake up and do what I love every single day,” he said. “And I know without a doubt that that is only possible because of God.”
Bush said he’s learned a lot about life through playing basketball — both are games with highs and lows.
For the 5’7″ point guard, who found himself jumping from junior college star to HU record breaker, resilience is key.
“The outcome will solely depend on how you respond,” he said.
As Bush and his teammates look forward to the conference tournament, he said he wants to respond each day with a more improved version of himself each time he takes the court.
“Hopefully that translates into winning,” Bush said, “because only the winners will be remembered.”