Glover’s ready for a challenge – in Utah

Mike Glover enjoyed an impressive summer on the city’s streetball circuit, but this season at Eastern Utah is far more important. Photo by Damion Reid

New York City’s streetball circuit can be broken up into several factions. There are the guys who made it at a high level in college and are playing overseas, those who never quite got to the mountaintop, and ones who are currently there.

Mike Glover is none of the above. He is still looking to figure out where he belongs.

The next year will determine a lot.

Moments after scoring 19 points in the Bingo All-Stars’ 83-79 loss Sunday to the Sean Bell All-Stars in the Nike Tournament of Champions at Gauchos Gym, Glover had already put his productive summer on the blacktop – which including winning the Dyckman title and reaching the final at Hoops in the Sun – behind him.

The Bronx native shook hands and said goodbye to teammates and adversaries, preparing to fly west for his second year of junior college at Eastern Utah.

“It’s time to focus on school,” he said.

The 6-foot-6, athletically gifted Glover, who spent the past year at ASA College in Brooklyn, could be part of a Division I program with some luck. Instead, he is still looking to find his way, the result of his course work his senior year at American Christian Academy in Aston, Pa., being invalidated by the NCAA.

He attended Seton Hall anyway, although he was technically ineligible. He paid his tuition and sued the NCAA to get the decision overturned and receive monetary damages equal to a four-year scholarship.

“I’ve been through a lot of obstacles, but playing through all the commotion has made me a better player,” he said. “I haven’t let that drag me down. I’ve been through it; I got over it.”

The lawsuit didn’t work and Glover says he hasn’t dwelled on the lost year. He is far more concerned with the season ahead, the chance to play for an established program that runs an up-tempo style – which fits his vertical game – and find a new four-year school to call home.

“It’s my time to prove to everybody what I can do,” he said.

Glover’s older brother, Anthony, who starred for St. John’s and plays overseas, is pleased to see his younger brother get away from the city. He thinks playing somewhere where he isn’t known will serve as motivation, not to mention he can’t just catch a bus or a train to get home, Anthony joked.

“He will have to work harder to make his name,” he said.

Said longtime coach Bingo Cole: “This is a test for him – if he really wants it, he’s got to stay there. Once he does what he’s got to do in school, it’s all in his hands.”

Glover improved his already diverse game over the summer, adding a consistent jumpshot to his repertoire. Considering his explosive first step and impressive leaping ability, it made him an even tougher cover – too quick for big men, too strong for guards.

“He’s improving slowly but surely,” Anthony said.

Mike Glover spoke optimistically about Eastern Utah. He said he has developed a bond with his new coach, Chris Craig, and is looking forward to meeting new people.

“I’m starting school tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t think about anything else. I’m ready to move on. I’m pretty confident.”

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