May 18, 2011
Highly rated prospect still plans to wear green
Baltimore City High basketball standout Mike Cheatham has had a whirlwind three months. Now, it appears his immediate future is in clear focus.
The 6'2, 175-pound shooting guard made a verbal commitment to coach Tom Herrion and Marshall in early March, but rumors of academic trouble began circulating when no Letter of Intent was signed.
Old Fairfield subscribers learned first in April that Cheatham would not be qualified academically then found out May 12 that he would be attending Palm Beach (Fla.) State for two years, rendering his commitment null.
But while Cheatham's road to Huntington may have taken a detour, it doesn't mean Marshall won't be his ultimate destination.
"After (JUCO), if Marshall is still recruiting me, I will attend Marshall University," Cheatham told Herd Nation.
Having to delay his dream of Division I basketball was difficult for Cheatham, but he said it could be a positive in the long term.
"It will be beneficial because it will give me a little extra time with getting my body right," Cheatham said. "I believe it will make a big impact because I will be ready for the D-I competition."
After averaging 16 points per game as a senior, Cheatham had offers to UNLV, Robert Morris, Iona and Drexel, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Cheatham said next year will be a challenge.
"I won't really have a good feeling going into the next season because I know I should be playing on a higher level of basketball," Cheatham said. "But things happen. I really don't think it will affect my mindset because I am going to work hard regardless."
And just because Cheatham will be at the Florida junior college for two years, he may still retain three years of D-I eligibility. He told Herd Nation he may elect to redshirt either his first or second year.
Cheatham landed at Palm Beach State with assistance from Marshall assistant Mark Cline, who has stayed in contact with Cheatham's mother and the coaches at PBSC.
Being from the Baltimore-area, near Marshall signee Chris Martin's hometown of Washington, D.C., Cheatham said the potential opportunity to play with Martin one day is appealing.
"I played against (Martin) a couple times in AAU and school summer league games," Cheatham said. "He is a good player, so I wouldn't have a problem playing with him in the future."
Ryan Epling is an analyst for HerdNation.com. Comments and questions are welcomed and encouraged on the Old Fairfield forum."
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