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Which five Wolverines would form the best rec center basketball team?

Will the real hoopers please stand up?

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In college, an athletic trainer once told me, “Basketball is the most-hated sport of every coach that doesn’t coach basketball.” The ethos of this statement was based on the fact that almost every athlete in their offseason plays basketball for fun. Whether that be outside at a park or at the rec center, basketball’s accessibility always makes it a popular sport of choice.

While I am sure head coach Jim Harbaugh has explicit rules to prevent his athletes from over-exerting themselves recreationally, it is fun to wonder which five Michigan football players would form the best basketball team at the CCRP (Central Campus Recreational Center).

Can Greg Crippen play in the paint? Is J.J. McCarthy the go-to distributor on the hardwood like he is on the field? Could Ja’Den McBurrows be a knockdown three-point specialist?

Obviously, this team is going to embrace small ball — not too many foot-foot post presences roaming the gridiron. After taking a close examination of Michigan’s entire roster, this team is going to personify floor spacing by playing four out and one in and absolutely dominate in transition.

Here is the team that would run the rec center courts for hours.

Point Guard: RB Benjamin Hall (5’11, 235 pounds)

Prior to becoming the standout of the Michigan spring game, Benjamin Hall was both pummeling defenders on the football field and crossing them over on the court.

Hall was a varsity point guard for North Cobb High School in Georgia, so he has experience running an offense and will make a great distributor for this team. While he lacks ideal size, he is still taller than Michigan’s actual point guard...

Shooting Guard: WR Peyton O’Leary (6’3, 195 pounds)

Joining Hall in the backcourt is fellow 2023 spring game standout, Peyton O’Leary. The current wide receiver played football, basketball, and lacrosse in high school, and graduated with 12 total varsity letters across all three sports.

O’Leary’s natural athleticism will allow him to be a slash-and-slam specialist and his vertical ability will allow him to help clean up the glass.

Small Forward: QB Kendrick Bell (6’3, 180 pounds)

Flat out, Kendrick Bell can HOOP. An all-district selection in Missouri, Bell will be one of the two scoring focal points of this team. On the outside or above the rim, Bell is a walking highlight reel that will routinely embarrass the brothers from Sig Ep on the court.

Power Forward: Colston Loveland (6’5, 237 pounds)

Colston Loveland is going to be a mismatch nightmare. Imagine walking out of physics lab hoping to get some run on the courts and there is this 6-foot-5 tank raining down three after three.

Loveland not only lettered in basketball at Gooding High, but he was named first-team All-Idaho and the 2021 SCIC Co-Player of the Year after averaging 12.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game while shooting 40 percent from three-point range.

Loveland’s range will open up the floor and allow this team’s athleticism to dictate the game even in the half-court.

Center: Myles Hinton (6’7, 320 pounds)

While Myles Hinton did letter in basketball in high school, this is more of a selection based on sheer size and family genetics. At 6-foot-7, 320 pounds, Hinton is going to not just own the paint, but he will BE the paint.

Concerning his lineage, we know his brother Christopher played football at Michigan, but his father, Chris, was an eight-time NFL All-Pro offensive lineman and an All-American at Northwestern. His mother was a Northwestern women’s basketball standout and his aunt also played basketball at Northwestern.

I’ll bet on those genetics every day of the week.


Jake Thaw (6’1, 190 pounds), Tristan Bounds (6’8, 311 pounds)