Bitzer Commits to the Chippewas

Make no mistake about it, whether on the the football field or basketball court, Jordan Bitzer of Unionville-Sebewaing Area High School is a leader and fierce competitor. Last year he led the Patriots to the state championship game in both football and basketball. Yesterday, he made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Central Michigan University.

The farming communities of Unionville and Sebewaing east of Bay City, Mich., are known for producing some of the finest cash crops of beans and sugar beets.

The area also takes great pride in its athletic teams at Unionville-Sebewaing Area High School. In particular, the USA football and basketball teams that made it to the state finals last season.

The Patriots capped a 14-0 season by defeating Detroit DePorres in the Divison 7 football championship last fall at the Silverdome, before losing to Olivet in the Class C basketball championship game in March.

"We have great support from the community," said Jordan Bitzer, the starting quarterback of the football team and point guard on the basketball team.

Now, USA has the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Bitzer himself to be proud of. Thursday morning, the senior-to-be star athlete made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Central Michigan University.

"The word is out already and it's a big deal to the whole community," said Bitzer, who led the Patriots to a 22-5 record last season, averaging 19 points, seven assists and seven rebounds per game. "It's great for the community and it's huge for the school. It's a dream come true for me."

Bitzer said the Chippewas began recruiting him after a state quarterfinal win over Detroit Community last March. In that game, Bitzer scored 34 points, including eight 3-pointers.

Last weekend, Bitzer led USA to a 16-1 record and the championship at CMU's team camp over many Class A and B schools, including Flint Powers. His performance at that camp seemingly sealed the deal for a scholarship offer from the Chippewas.

"I think it's awesome how CMU recruited me," Bitzer said. "I attended an open gym Wednesday night and the CMU players made me feel welcome, like I was one of the team."

Soon afterward, he essentially became a member of the Chippewa team.

Bitzer said CMU head coach Jay Smith sat down with him after the open gym and extended a scholarship offer, telling Bitzer he has the type of skills he's looking for in a player. Bitzer said he called coach Smith back the next morning to make a verbal commitment to the Chippewas.

"Coach Smith was very happy when I told him I was committing," Bitzer said. "I love the CMU campus and the facilities are great. My parents are overwhelmed."

Bitzer said CMU recruited him primarily as a point guard, but that he could play shooting guard as well.

"It's going to be a great experience for me," Bitzer said. "Knowing that CMU had just one scholarship to give and that coach Smith picked me is such an honor. I believe I'm the first Division I basketball player ever at USA."

He said that he was also being recruited by Western Michigan. Bitzer said he made an unofficial visit to WMU Tuesday.

Bitzer added that he plans to play in an AAU tournament this month at Aim High in Lansing with his high school teammates.

According to Bitzer, he has one piece of unfinished business before he begins his college career at CMU. He said his ultimate goal is to get back to Michigan State's Breslin Center with his USA teammates next March and win a state basketball championship.

"I definitely believe we can get back to the Breslin Center," Bitzer said. "We only have to replace one starter (Lance Travis) from last year's team."

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