Basalt’s Michael Glen signs to play basketball for School of Mines
If there was a silver lining to come out of the Basalt High School boys basketball team’s heartbreaking loss in the Class 3A state quarterfinals last month, it was Michael Glen’s resolve to make sure that wasn’t the last time he stepped on the court.
“After state, he said, ‘I’m not done yet,’” said Julie Glen, Michael’s mother. “I knew then he knew he wasn’t done and he had to go pursue to play more. He did all the homework to figure out what that means.”
Michael Glen, a BHS senior, made one of the biggest decisions of his young life Monday when he signed his National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Colorado School of Mines, an NCAA Division II program based out of Golden. Normally one to shy away from the limelight off the court, Glen signed his NLI at the high school in front of a few dozen of his fellow students.
“It’s a big weight off my shoulders. I’m definitely happy with my decision,” Michael Glen said. “I had a couple of options over on the east coast. All were really great schools. But I finally decided to come play at Mines just because of the coach and all the guys I met seemed really nice. Also, it’s the closest option away from home, so that really appealed to me.”
Glen, who is nearly 6-foot-7, was the heart of the Longhorn basketball team the past two seasons. He was the Western Slope League player of the year and was one of five named first team all-state in 3A this season. As a senior, he led BHS to a 21-4 record and a spot in the 3A quarters for the first time in 28 years.
According to MaxPreps, Glen finished his four-year career at Basalt with 1,390 points, 694 rebounds and 169 blocked shots. Paul Cain holds the school record with 1,665 career points.
“When I went I was playing with the guys, and I really noticed pretty quickly that they played at a lot higher level and that appealed to me,” Glen said about going DII. “It’s good to see right now they are on the rise and how well their program is going. Hopefully I can just keep the tradition going.”
The Orediggers, long coached by Pryor Orser, are coming off an historic season. They finished the year ranked No. 11 in the country, going a program-best 30-5 overall and advanced to their first Elite 8 in school history. The season ended with a 92-72 loss to Bellarmine in the national quarterfinals.
Glen, who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an engineer, had spent much of his time looking at smaller Division III schools out east, all of which had strong engineering programs. Playing basketball in college wasn’t necessarily at the top of his list.
But with a strong drive to continue to play lingering into the offseason, it all came together for Glen, who saw the Mines as an ideal fit. The location makes him feel right at home, the idea of playing at the DII level is exciting, and the school is known for its strong science programs, especially engineering.
“All the schools I looked at really did have incredible engineering programs. But Mines’ mechanical engineering program also really did speak to me,” Glen said. “I definitely think I’m ready to put myself up to that challenge. I’m definitely ready to start putting myself through weight lifting more and start putting more hours in the gym.”
His mother seems to agree.
“It’s going to be a lot of work, but he knows what he is getting himself into. So I’m very proud that he is taking on this challenge,” Julie Glen said. “I’m excited for him. At first I had to make sure that’s really what he wanted. It’s a job to go play a sport and take on the curriculum that he is, but he definitely is ready for it.”
Glen, who grew up playing baseball, currently is playing for the Longhorns this spring. His younger sister, Taylor, is a freshman on the BHS girls soccer team.
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Basalt volleyball improved to 8-4 overall after a 3-0 sweep of Grand Valley on Saturday. BHS, which started the season 0-3, had won seven straight before a 3-2 loss to Cedaredge on Friday. The Longhorns next play Tuesday in Aspen.