Willie Mitchell (basketball)

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Willie Dion Mitchell III (born 1975) is an American professional basketball player. In high school, he was the 1994 Mr. Basketball of Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan and the University of Alabama at Birmingham before becoming a professional. He has had multiple stints in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and various foreign basketball leagues. He was a passenger in the rollover accident whose investigation led to the University of Michigan basketball scandal.

High school[edit]

The 6-foot-8-inch (2.03 m) Mitchell earned the 1994 Mr. Basketball of Michigan title after leading Detroit Pershing High School to two Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Class A basketball championships in 1992 and 1993 as well as a runner-up finish in 1994. During his time at Pershing the team accumulated a 92–11 record. He averaged 21.9 points and 11 rebounds during his senior season, but the team lost to Detroit Public School League rival Robert Traylor's Detroit Murray-Wright High School in the MHSAA championships.[1] He was named both McDonald's All-American and Magic’s Roundball Classic selections during his senior season.[2] He was named Detroit News All-State his sophomore (4th team), junior and senior seasons.[3]

College[edit]

He was part of a highly touted Michigan Wolverines men's basketball recruiting class dubbed Fab Five II or Frosh Five that included Maurice Taylor, Jerod Ward, Maceo Baston, and Travis Conlan and that entered Michigan during the senior season of Jimmy King and Ray Jackson (the only two original Fab Five members who did not declare early for the National Basketball Association).[4] During his sophomore 1995–1996 season he missed seven games between December 5, 1995–January 3, 1996 to a knee injury.[5][6] After returning to the lineup, he was a passenger in the February 17, 1996 rollover accident whose investigation led to the University of Michigan basketball scandal.[7] Although he was involved in the accident, he was not among the players called before the grand jury (Robert Traylor, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Maurice Taylor, and Louis Bullock)[8] and was not found to have received large amounts of money.[9] He and Ward were 1994 McDonald's All-American Team members and the following season 1995 McDonald's All-Americans Bullock, Traylor, and Albert White would also join Michigan.[10][11] He had started the last three games prior to his knee injury after having started only five of the first thirty-five games of his Michigan career. After returning from the injury, he only started two of eighteen games.[12] Willie Mitchell transferred to the UAB Blazers men's basketball team after the 1996 season.

Professional[edit]

He was drafted in the 1999 CBA draft by the Yakama Sun Kings.[13] He played one season for the Kings before playing professionally in Europe and Asia until 2006.[14] In 2006, he played in the American Basketball Association before returning to the CBA in 2007 where he played for the Minot Skyrockets. He most recently played for the Quad City Riverhawks in 2008.[15][16] Among the other teams he has played for are the Hong Kong Flying Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association, Vantaa Pussihukat of the Korisliiga, and AZS Koszalin of the Dominet Basket Liga.[14] He has also been affiliated with San Diego Stingrays of the International Basketball Association and the Detroit Wheels of the American Basketball Association.[14]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Basketball Winners". Detroit PSL Basketball. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  2. ^ "PSL Prep All-Americans". Detroit PSL Basketball. Retrieved August 20, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Detroit News All-State — 1990s". Detroit PSL Basketball. Retrieved August 20, 2008. 
  4. ^ Friend, Tom (November 23, 1994). "COLLEGE BASKETBALL; Fab Five? Try Pretty Darn Good Five". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  5. ^ DeCourcy, Mike (December 18, 1995). "North Carolina and Duke are doing fine, thanks". The Sporting News. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved July 3, 2014.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ "1995-96 All Games for Willie Mitchell". Regents of the University of Michigan. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  7. ^ Cnockaert, Jim (March 22, 2002). "Accident's effects still felt six years later: Roberson: It changed the athletic department". Ann Arbor News. Archived from the original on August 27, 2002. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  8. ^ Larcom, Geoff (October 19, 2000). "Former U-M assistant testifies in Martin case: Also, prosecutors issue two indictments of Martin's associates". Ann Arbor News. Michigan Live LLC. Archived from the original on January 10, 2003. 
  9. ^ "Text of the indictment". Ann Arbor News. Michigan Live LLC. March 22, 2002. Archived from the original on February 24, 2003. Retrieved August 19, 2008. 
  10. ^ "MCDONALD'S ALL-AMERICA". Archived from the original on March 31, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Season Totals for 1995-96". Regents of the University of Michigan. 2003. Retrieved August 21, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Men's Basketball Statistic Archive Query Page". Regents of the University of Michigan. Retrieved August 13, 2008. 
  13. ^ "CBA DRAFT 1999". USBasket. Eurobasket. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  14. ^ a b c "Mitchell, Willie Dion III". Basketpedya. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  15. ^ "QUAD CITY RIVERHAWKS (PBL)". USBasket. Eurobasket. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Quad City Riverhawks Notebook" (PDF). Quad City Riverhawks. February 15, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 

External links[edit]