Catching Up with Mike Gansey

Known as a sharpshooter who has a knack for playing gritty defense, Mike Gansey has excelled in his craft at every level. As a student athlete at Olmsted Falls High School, a Cleveland suburb, Gansey was a three time All-State player and garnered first-team honors during his junior and senior seasons. After his senior season, he was named Ohioís Division II Player of the Year and finished second in Mr. Basketball voting to LeBron James.

Upon graduation he played collegiately at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York for two seasons before transferring to West Virginia University. While at WVU, Gansey helped lead his squad to its highest national ranking in nearly two decades. During his senior season as a Mountaineer, Gansey was named a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Award, the Wooden Award as well as the Naismith Trophy.

Following his college career, Gansey signed to play professionally Italy. He then signed to play for a German team before coming back to the States to play with the BayHawks for the 2009-2010 campaign. Last season, Gansey took his talents to the African coastline and played professionally in the Canary Islands.

We caught up with Mike and he was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us regarding his career.


WHAT PLAYER DID YOU MODEL YOUR GAME AFTER WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?
I was always a huge fan of Michael Jordan but Chris Mullin was someone I always looked up to. Even though I was not a left-handed player I always loved the way he played and the way he could shoot the basketball. The Golden State Warriors RUN TMC was my favorite team when I was younger.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR GREATEST MOMENT AS A BASKETBALL PLAYER?
Playing alongside my youngest brother Steve in high school is up there but playing for West Virginia and playing in two NCAA tournaments, advancing to an Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen in consecutive seasons are the best moments.

AT WEST VIRGINIA, YOU PLAYED WITH CULT HERO KEVIN PITTSNOGLE. DO YOU KEEP IN CONTACT WITH KEVIN OR ANY OTHER TEAMMATES FROM COLLEGE?
I do not keep in contact with Kevin very often but I do keep in contact with many of my other teammates from West Virginia especially in the summers. We try to get together whenever we can.

ANY PARTICULAR MEMORIES YOU HAVE FROM YOUR DAYS IN ERIE?
I have many memories playing in Erie. Playing for Coach Treloar and Coach McDonald was a great experience as well as with all my teammates. I still keep in contact with most of them as well as many of the staff from the BayHawks front office. The only regret I have is that I didnít get to play for Erie an entire season.

YOU HAVE PLAYED IN MULTIPLE DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE OVERSEAS?
Playing overseas is unique. It is much different than the basketball in the USA. Itís a totally different world socially and it is hard at times being so far away from family and friends. However, I am very fortunate to have the experience to see some great places all over the world and meet new friends.

WHAT FOREIGN COUNTRY HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE?
It is hard to say which country was my favorite but this past season I was playing in Spain on the island of Tenerife and living on an island for nine months was pretty fun.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PASS THE TIME IN THE OFF-SEASON?
After a nine month season this off-season I have been mostly relaxing and visiting friends and family. Besides family vacations and friendís weddings, I am also working out and staying in shape.

WHAT'S THE NEXT STEP IN YOUR CAREER?
I am not sure what my next step in my basketball career is. I am awaiting something from overseas soon so as of now everything is on hold. That is just the way I am used to living-month-by-month.

YOUR BROTHER STEVE IS AN ASSISTANT COACH FOR THE FORT WAYNE MAD ANTS. CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF COACHING AFTER YOUR CAREER IS OVER?
I am not sure what I want to do when I am done playing. I donít think coaching is for me and canít see myself doing it at any level. Owning my own business has always been on my mind, as well as trying to get into front office scouting or something with evaluating talent, something involving college basketball.

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