UA offers Mickelson

The University of Arkansas basketball program offers Jonesboro Westside freshman Hunter Mickelson (6-9, 175) a scholarship on Sunday - making him the third member of the Arkansas Wings' 15-and-under AAU state championship team along with Aaron Ross (6-7, 210) and Ky Madden (6-4, 180) to get early offers from the Razorbacks.

LITTLE ROCK - It turned out to be a really big Sunday for Jonesboro Westside sophomore-to-be Hunter Mickelson.

Mickelson (6-9, 175), not only found out that the University of Arkansas had offered him a scholarship, but then went out and had himself quite the day.

He poured in 16 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked 8 shots against fellow 6-9 freshman Hooper Vint while leading his Arkansas Wings squad over the Arkansas Hawks 65-42 in the championship game of the 15-and-under Arkansas AAU State tournament.

"Hunter just had a great game, a great game," Arkansas Wings assistant coach Ron Crawford said. "He is so athletic and can just do so many things and he really hasn't even grown up yet. He's going to put on some weight and be just outstanding."

Mickelson, who played high school basketball for Class 4A Westside this past season, becomes third player off of the Arkansas Wings' 15-and-under Elite squad to be offered by the Razorbacks this year.

He joins UA commit Aaron Ross (6-7, 210) of Pulaski Academy – who committed to the Razorbacks after being offered back in February – and 6-4 East Poinsett County swingman Ky Madden, who was offered by Arkansas earlier this week to go along with an earlier offer from Baylor.

All three of those prospects played high school basketball last season.

"We have a great group of players and it is a lot of fun to play with these guys," Mickelson said.

Mickelson averaged 15.5 points, 9 rebounds and 5.5 blocks this past season for Westside (18-9) while having three triple-doubles during the year.

His best performance may have been a 19-point, 16-rebound performance in a win over Class 6A Jonesboro in the NEA Tournament.

That was the Warriors' first win over the Hurricanes in 33 years and came before a crowd of 4,300 fans at Arkansas State University's Convocation Center.

"It was pretty fast-paced and I had to get used to it," Mickelson said of high school basketball. "It certainly was faster than junior high. I kind of had to improve and adjust early on, but after a few games I was pretty comfortable, got settled in and I think I did okay."

Mickelson's father is deployed in Iraq so no decision on his college future will likely be made anytime soon.

The Wings' 15-and-under team finished third at last week's 16-and-under state tournament before taking the title in its own age division this weekend.

That made them eligible to go to the 15-and-under national tournament in Orlando, but they will instead be the host team for the 16-and-under Division II national tournament in Little Rock on July 7-12.

That's the next time Razorback fans will get a chance to take a look at Mickelson, who is just beginning his development.

"I have just got to work on getting some strength and getting some meat on me," Mickelson said. "I think my game is progressing well. There are things that I am still working on, things I can get better at."

o o o Arkansas is also known to be interested in Van Buren's Vint, who is 6-10, 190 and played junior high basketball last season, as well as 6-5, 235-pound Darren Griswold of Dumas.

This ninth grade class is absolutely loaded," Crawford said. "Hoop is probably going to end up 7-foot, 225 pounds or so.

All five of those young men have been invited to the Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis in early June.

O o o

State Tournament Tidbits:

…Little Rock Hall junior point guard A.J. Walton had 23 points to lead the Arkansas Wings Elite team over the Arkansas Wings Red squad in the 17-and-under state tournament championship game on Sunday.

Rogers junior Aaron Hawley had 17 to lead the Wings Red.

…Conway sophomore point guard Kenyon McNeaill was phenomenal in the 17-and-under third-place game.

McNeaill nailed a whopping 9 3-pointers while dropping in 33 points to lead the Arkansas Wings' 16-and-under Elite team over Arkansas Wings Red 80-54 in the 17-and-under third-place game.

…Third place in the 15-and-under tournament went to the Arkansas Tigers.

Hunter Mickelson

Kye Madden

Aaron Ross

Hooper Vint

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