The Michigan men’s basketball program announced on Wednesday that guard Corey Person, who finished his degree and graduated in May, would be returning to the program for his redshirt senior season.
“It was unexpected,” Person said in a news release. “It is actually kind of funny because coach [John] Beilein always joked around last season whenever I would be talking. He would say, ‘Don’t start thinking about a fifth year.’ … So for Coach Beilein to actually want to bring me back, on top of that with me being a walk on, I know how rare that is.”
As a walk-on, Person has never been a contributor on the floor for the Wolverines. He appeared in just 22 games during his career but in a loss to Ohio State in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament he had his career-best game, scoring seven points and grabbing two rebounds.
However, several of his teammates looked to him for his leadership qualities over the past few seasons. One of his roles last season, leading the pregame huddle dances, will continue, he said.
“Corey has ingrained himself in this program and we are thrilled to extend him the offer to return,” Beilein said. “There are so many great intangibles Corey brings to the program – leadership, attitude and character. With a very young team, we feel it is very important that Corey bring these intangibles back for one more season.”
Person will return after spending four seasons with Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, two graduates whom many consider to have turned the program around with their leadership. Person said his experience with Novak and Douglass will help him lead the team in his fifth year, and that he’s excited to continue that legacy.
“I won't be in the record books for stats, but I feel like my teammates know how much work I put in and how important this is to me to work hard,” Person said. “That is the most important thing -- the respect of your teammates and the respect of your brothers. With this team reaching its full potential, more people are going to dive into what made this team tick, and hopefully when those questions are asked I will be a part of the answer. If I can do that, not only for myself, but for Michigan in general, that would be a great accomplishment."
During the year, Person will be adding a minor to his degree and applying to graduate schools in sports management or organizational studies.