Versatile Hoosier Star Considers CMU Offer

The Central Michigan University basketball program is still looking for a few good men to join the team for the 2005 season. Among those interested is forward Aaron Richie of Decatur (Ind.) Bellmont High School, who made an official visit to CMU last weekend.

Aaron Richie is the type of smalltown player who has made Indiana high school basketball so popular and the envy of many states.

Last season, the 6-foot-7 forward led Bellmont High School to a 22-5 record and a birth in the state class 3A championship game at Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse.

Although the Braves lost in the title game to Evansville Mater Dei, it was an experience Richie, his teammates, and the more than 9,000 residents of Decatur, Ind., will not soon forget.

"It was a great experience," Richie said. "We return four starters from last year, so we should be real good again this season."

Before he begins his senior year on the hardcourt though, Richie said he would like to make a decision on where he will play his college basketball. Last weekend he made an official visit to Central Michigan University, one of five Division I schools that has offered him a scholarship.

"I enjoyed it a lot," Richie said. "I got along great with all the players. I was real impressed with how much pride all the fans and students have in CMU. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic and friendly."

Richie said CMU is recruiting him because of his great versatility. With his size and overall skill package, he can play anywhere on the court from point guard to power forward. He averaged 13 points per game last season in a balanced Braves scoring attack.

"I like the offense at CMU because it gives me plenty of opportunities to score," Richie said.

According to Richie, he's also been offered a scholarship by Wright State, Samford, Davidson and New Orleans, while Ball State and Kent State have been recruiting him hard. He has already visited Samford and said he has visits scheduled to WSU, UNO and Davidson in coming weeks before making a decision.

Richie said that after this past weekend though, his original plan could change.

"After this past weekend I like CMU a lot," Richie said. "It's gonna take a lot to beat CMU. I'm thinking about making a decision, but I'm going to sit down with my family and coach first."

Richie said another thing that appeals to him about playing for CMU is Rose Arena.

"It reminds me of where I play in high school and I like that a lot," Richie said.

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