Michah Wilcher played basketball for the Musketeers during his days at Eastern High School. After graduating in 2006, however, he focused on being a student.
That all changed five years later when several members of the Bond University basketball team in Australia noticed his talent during a pick-up game.
The players invited Wilcher to try-out as a walk-on. He took them up on the invite and not only made the team, but found himself competing for a starting position.
Wilcher made his presences felt in the team’s game against a rival they had lost to for seven years in a row.
He led the Bullsharks in that game with 17 points and came up with a key defensive play that secured the victory.
Bond was up one with 10 seconds remaining when a Griffith player drove past his defender and hit the game winning shot. The basket ended up not counting because Wilcher stood in to take a charge just before his opponent got the shot off.
The win created momentum for Bond. They won their next two games before competing in the Northern Australian Territory University Games.
The universities within the territory of New South Wales and Queensland are composed into a week-long tournament to find out who will qualify for the the Australian University Games, which is that country’s version of March Madness.
Bond rolled through the competition going 7-0 and earning the right to play in the NUG Championship against Queensland University.
Bond led all the way until the middle of the third quarter where the Bullsharks would go cold offensively.
Bond lost the game by nine points, but took home the silver medal.
Wilcher ended up down-under after graduating from Ball State University in 2011 with a double major in Exercise Science and Sports Administration. .
He fell in love with the country during a previous trip he took there in 2009 and decided that’s where he wanted to attend school to pursue his master’s degree.
After moving there, Wilcher found himself having a lot of free time, which he spent surfing and playing basketball.
It was during one of those pick-up games where his talent was noticed.
That talent was evident from an early age as Wilcher started playing basketball as a boy and ended up playing varsity for the Musketeers.
He was always a player Head Coach Scott Newcomb counted on for big plays at the defensive end for the floor.
He was named Eastern’s defensive player of the year in 2005 and 2006. He also led the team in charges taken in both of those years.
Wilcher earned a spot on the All-Sectional team in 2006 after a close loss to Providence.
Getting a basketball scholarship was always a dream for Wilcher, but he opted to focus on his education after high school.
He always remained heavily involved in the game, whether playing for his fraternity Sigma Nu, playing pickup games or coaching a middle school team at East Washington prior to leaving for his masters work in Australia.
Wilcher may have never envisioned himself playing division one college basketball, but his remaining connected to the game opened the door to play at that level in Australia.
Wilcher said he couldn’t have accomplished any of the things he did without his brother, Joe Newkirk and his mother, Judy Book.
Wilcher is set to earn his master’s in sports marketing in February. His team, the Bullsharks, qualified for the larger tournament at the end of September, but because college athletics are not the big business they are in America, the team can not afford to make the cross-country trip, thus ending the season.
Once he graduates, Wilcher has been invited to sign-on long-term with the company he has been interning with.
Should he accept, that is a three-year commitment, according to his mother.
Commitment shouldn’t be an issue for a young man who chased his dream to the other end of the globe.