February 17, 2016

Elan headed to Southern California

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Micah Elan

In a way, it was a no-brainer for 6-foot-4Micah Elan if such a description can be used when the subject is aligning oneself with a school that is ranked best in the nation by Forbes magazine. Elan, out of Lick-Wilmerding High in San Francisco, has decided to attend Pomona-Pitzer in southern California.

“I liked the school and coaching staff as well as southern California,” Elan offered. “It's a great location with great academics and I'll be able to play next year.” His recruitment was led by Assistant Coach Scott Waterman and he has also since developed a relationship with Head Coach Charles Katsiaficas who has roamed the coaching box at Pomona Pitzer since 1988. Katsiaficas also spent two years as an assistant to Gregg Popovich, who headed the Sagehen program from 1976-1988 before he moved to San Antonio as an assistant.

One other draw: “I'll play point guard. I'm very happy with that.”

Asked what he will bring to the program, Elan answered, “I'll work hard in practice, set up my teammates and be a good teammate.”

He also provided a rather personalized take on recruiting, a process few really know anything about, let alone experience. “During my spring season with Team Superstar, several D1 coaches began contacting me to talk about how I would fit into their programs and encouraging me to come to their camps. That was very exciting. During the summer, some of these coaches would call me and I saw them at my games. Other coaches regularly watched my games and I wondered whether they were interested in me or following somebody else. The most difficult thing about the entire recruiting process was trying to gauge coaches’ level of interest. I would learn that I was no longer being considered only when a coach would stop calling or I attended their camps and did not get the recruit treatment. I know now that is the way it's often done.”

He continued, “Two of the greatest joys of my recruiting experience were being treated like a valued recruit when I attended camps at Pomona-Pitzer and the University of Utah, which ultimately did not continue to recruit me. I really enjoyed the way the coaches and players welcomed me and made me feel comfortable on the campuses. While DII schools continued to show interest, I chose to go to Pomona-Pitzer where I can get a great combination of academics and basketball.”

The Sagehens play in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).

Pomona-Pitzer is an intriguing program because two freshmen stand as its leading scorers. Daniel Rosenbaum out of Los Altos High is averaging 18.1 points per game followed by Sacred Heart Prep alumnus Corbin Koch's 17.0.

Looking back at his prep career, Elan said, “as a freshman, you dream of playing college basketball for a Duke-like top program. Eventually, the options narrow down but I'm really happy. I wanted to go somewhere and play.”

As for the current season, Lick-Wilmerding bested Stuart Hall 71-59 to win the Bay Counties League West (BCLW) championship on Friday night. Elan scored 21 points on 9 of 11 shooting (2 -2 on treys, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, a steal and two turnovers. Teammate Walter Lum contributed 20 points.

The Tigers sport a 24-3 overall record, 8-2 in conference. It's worth noting that L-W went 16-11, 3-7 minus Elan last season.

Besides the success on the court, Elan also savors the tightness of the Tigers. “We're super close and friends off the floor.” His desire is to duplicate that bond among the Sagehens as well as being an asset in getting them to the top of the SCIAC.