January 22, 2015

Elan: 'Better Comp'

Kevin McCarthy

There are a number of blue chip prospects on the roster of the Prolific Prep basketball academy. But besides these national recruits, five players are Bay Area rooted. One of those is Micah Elan.

photo of Micah Elan

So how did he get to Napa? “Phil [Philippe Doherty] invited me to join Prolific Prep in April after I had been training with him for a couple months on Saturdays and Sundays with the Nor Cal Wildcats.”

Academically, Elan transferred from San Francisco's Lick-Wilmerding High to Justin-Sienna High in Napa. Ditto with the basketball academy at Prolific Prep, bringing with him averages of 16.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as well as Bay Counties League West First Team honors.

So why the change?

“I had a great time at Lick-Wilmerding and would have had the opportunity to be a star. But I was thinking about the future and this was a chance to play with great players, including foreign ones. I would be handling the ball and playing defense against better competition. I knew I would be a backup point with a senior ahead of me so I would be more of a role player but that would help because it would be like a college experience. Plus, after the [basketball] season [at Lick-Wilmerding], training was up to me. That would be different with Prolific Prep.”

Regarding that last aspect, Elan explained, “we get both of them, Jeremy Russotti and Philippe Doherty, everyday Monday through Saturday.”

What has it been like?

“I have now definitely practiced and played against better competition. The Bay West was challenging but not like this. I've bettered my athletic ability, my strength and shooting.” He currently stands 6-foot-3 and a half and 170 pounds.

Elan continued, “I practice against Kyle Leufroy from southern California. He signed [in November] with Lehigh. My grade point average is higher and that should help getting into colleges. We travel and it's harder to keep up with schoolwork but I stay on top of it. We also get a spectrum of schools [colleges] at our practices” which did not happen at Lick-Wilmerding.

And even though his family and friends might not be in attendance, especially at away games, “we livestream home and away games so my parents can watch. I text my Dad afterwards about the games.”

So what has been the most difficult element?

“The hardest part for me was leaving my friends, but I still stay in touch. San Francisco is away [from Napa] so I couldn't remain at my school and still get to Prolific Prep like Matt O'Reilly.” The latter was able to remain at Campolindo High as a student while traveling in the afternoon to Napa, a distance of about 45 miles.

Come spring and summer, Elan will again be playing with Team Superstar, as he did last season.