For months, I’ve been wondering why point guard Jonathan Milligan (Casa Grande, Ariz./Union) hadn’t signed. Last summer, at the Reebok Breakout Camp, Milligan broke out. He showed speed and the ability to play point guard at a mid-major school, at least.
I get calls all the time asking about available players. For months, I’ve been passing along Milligan’s name to would-be recruiters. For months, nothing materialized. On Tuesday, it was time to explore the reason why. When a player who averaged 28 points a game and was the fourth-leading scorer in the state of Arizona is not signed, there’s a reason why. Milligan said he’s never been in trouble off the court, so that meant one thing: academics.
Milligan is going to be a product of his grades – or lack thereof – catching up to him. Milligan’s story is one that repeats itself yearly. If kids only knew how important their first few years or semesters of high school truly are, they might take a different approach.
“Going into high school, I could do the work but I didn’t take it seriously enough and that set me back,” Milligan said. “I wasn’t scheduled to retake those classes until late in my high school career and I’ve had to do extra things. I wasn’t mature enough to handle it like I should have.”
Milligan’s down because he knows prep school or reclassifying are in his future and it all could have been avoided. He should be playing college basketball next fall. He wants to be playing college basketball next fall … but he won’t be able to. “Take your work seriously,” Milligan said. “At the end of the day that’s what really matters.”
This is a young man who is going to play college basketball one day. Unfortunately, his path will be delayed. Some schools will stick with him; the smart ones who were on him early, some remain in touch.
“Creighton was very heavy on me and they still want to work with me to get me to their school,” Milligan said. “I’ve had Fresno State’s coach visit and I talked to Utah. I’ve spoken to a lot of schools, not any high, high-majors but I’ve spoken to a lot. Creighton’s stuck around the most and we still talk a lot.
“I don’t have a bias about anywhere. I feel like I need the best situation and coaching staff so I can take this game as far as I can.”