The Perfect Walk On: Corey Person

Valedictorian (right)Corey Person is a combo guard from Kalamazoo who is reportedly planning to walk-on at Michigan via the Kalamazoo Promise. Corey was honored as the valedictorian at Kalamazoo Central’s graduation last week. Person graduated with a 4.0 while taking AP biology and calculus. Corey is a very good ball player as well and probably would have had the opportunity to play at MAC schools on an athletic scholarship. By my calculations Corey averaged about 14 points per game (game stats) and led a very good K-Zoo Central team to the Regionals in the state tournament last year. The Kalamazoo Gazette has this quote from Corey after graduation:

Person, who is headed to University of Michigan, attributes his success to parental encouragement and his own desire to succeed. Like Bridges, he earned a perfect grade-point average in middle school and was determined to continue that in high school. “I just wanted to keep it going,” said Person, a star on the K-Central basketball team. “I want to prove that you can play sports and still get good grades.”

Corey is exactly the kind of kid that you need to build a successful program, sure he isn’t going to turn the program around but it’s a very good move to add a kid like him. The most important reason Corey helps is that you need skilled players for practice. Corey probably won’t be a contributor early in his career but having a guy who can step in and lead the practice team is valuable. Laval Lucas-Perry led the practice team last year (due to being ineligible) but he had to play the five because at 6-3 he was the tallest person on the scout team. Last year’s practice team would have consisted of people like Laval, Eric Puls, Adam Block, Dave Merritt, and Pete Burak (former manager). It’s a safe bet that adding Benzing and Person to this team will make a significant difference to the look that the team can get every day.

Not to mention adding a kid like Person who is a top notch student is certainly going to be a positive for the program no matter how you slice it. And as we have seen in recent history injuries can be deadly and over the last 6 years or the list of walk-ons who have played significant minutes is endless. Harrell, Wohl, Merritt, and CJ Lee are just a few. I would compare Person walking on to Austin Thornton‘s situation at Michigan State last year.

Other Notes: Stephen Bell ranks Jordan Morgan the #1 2009 power forward in the state. Zack Novak Hoosier Game report from Rivals ($).

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