Former Bearcats Heart Still At UC - Part 2

Bearcat Insiders Casey Weldon spoke with former Bearcat basketball player Pete Mickeal at length on several subjects. Here is part two of the story with one more installment coming later this week.

Making his way from the Philippines to Greece, from Russia to Spain, and now to Korea, the well-traveled Mickeal has learned a lot more about himself than the countless cities, cultures, languages and peoples that he has come across over the course of his journeys.

"I think the last couple of years have really taught me a lot," said Mickeal. "I had some opportunities to visit a lot of the [United States] during my college career, but going overseas has been an eye-opening experience. I have been to poor places in the States before, but I have been to third-world counties and seen what real poverty is. I know what it is like to be rich in the face of a lot of poverty. It makes you really appreciate your family and the way of life that you have come accustomed to. Playing there and all the places I have been really puts things in perspective for you."

Mickeal has spent the past six years of his life going through a mental/spiritual maturation that has helped guide him to a point where he realizes there is more to this world then basketball. Roundball has merely been the avenue to teaching him this.

"Since I have been overseas I have learned some Greek, Russian, Spanish and the local languages in the Philippines to help me not only live day-to-day there but to get to know a lot about the people and the place that I look to call home for a year or two at a time. There are a lot of guys that come overseas and only come for the paycheck. They play the game and then go back to their apartment. I do not want to be one of those guys; I want to make the best of this opportunity and really experience what life [in many different places] is all about."

One aspect of the foreign lifestyle that Mickeal has seen as similar between the USA and all his stops internationally has been the passionate outcry in celebration of sport, in particularly basketball. Basketball in many ways is more than a commonality that serves to bond all of the countries together, making the transition from one place to another a little easier, but it is also the ticket that has allowed him to make this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

"If it was not for basketball I definitely would not have had the chance to do many of things I have had the opportunity to do the past few years," responded Mickeal. "I would not have had the opportunity to earn a college degree or been able to travel and see many of these places that I have had the chance to call home at various points along the way. I really thank basketball for blessing me with this opportunity at making a living for myself doing what I love but also for teaching me so much about life and the world."

One thing he has learned about the world is their passion for the game of basketball.

"What Europeans and the people around the world like about the game is really the same thing you would expect to see in an American gym. They love the dunk, the fancy pass and the three-pointer. They really love the three-pointer!"

Mickeal attributes much of the development on his game to the foreign love of the perimeter game.

"I think playing over there has helped me to become more comfortable playing on the wing, said the small forward. "Coming here they wanted me to play more of an inside game on the block. They wanted me to do more rebounding, but because they have their point guards to their centers shooting from the outside, it has made me work on that aspect of my game as well. I think playing in this style has helped make me a more versatile or complete ball player, which is important because it is so difficult to find a spot at the small forward in the NBA. Now, I can maybe slid down and play shooting guard because of the emphasis they have on shooting and ball handling."

While there are definite comparisons between what the fans enjoy about the game of basketball at each corner of the globe, there are not the adequate associations between American fans and those of the rest of the world when it comes to watching (and some would saying participating) in the sport itself. With a tradition rich in "hooliganism" based in their love of futbol, the international community has seen that mentality transcend all sports. Now at any game you can see a passion sport unparalleled when compared to the professional equivalent found stateside.

"Fans in Europe are crazy over there," said a chuckling Mickeal. "They like to be really involved in the game. They think they are apart of the game. Here, at professional games, it seems like fans are a lot more laid back. They are there to be entertained and are not as invested in the games a lot of times as they are in the rest of the world."

The most favored comparison between what can be seen on a regular basis "there" and here in terms of fan involvement is at the college ranks.

"I think the way that international fans and the college basketball fans we have here approach the game very similarly," said Mickeal. "College fans really think that they can have an impact in the game, and that they are almost a part of the team. Both there and here there is definitely a sense of home-field advantage because of that mentality."

Mickeal recalls many great times while playing at UC. He mentions many times where he was able to feel the love of the fans.

"I thought we were going to win every game at UC no matter whom we were playing. I felt that way not only because of the incredibly talented teams, but also because I knew we had our fans behind us and they made it a tough environment for teams to come into (Fifth Third Arena) and hope to be successful. They were intimidating – and still are!"

However, one point constantly reiterated throughout the interview and the select instances I have spent talking with Mickeal was not how great the fans and people at UC were on game day. No, instead, he emphasized it was the manner by which the University and the overall people of the Queen City managed to make him feel that really made his time at UC one of the best times of his life.

"Cincinnati was where I was meant to be! I learned so much during my time here that I wish I had had the opportunity to be here all four years. There are not a lot of schools in the middle of the city the way UC is, and it does a great job of really representing the Queen City and all it embodies. I undoubtedly had one of the best times of my life there. Not just during games or things related to basketball, but just being made to go to class and living in the Cincinnati area were so great for me."

If you missed part one of the Pete Mickeal story click the following link.

Pete Mickeal Part One


Inside The Bearcats Top Stories

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"\r\n

Making his way from the Philippines to Greece, from Russia to Spain, and now \r\nto Korea, the well-traveled Mickeal has learned a lot more about himself than \r\nthe countless cities, cultures, languages and peoples that he has come across \r\nover the course of his journeys.

\r\n

\"I think the last couple of years have really taught me a lot,\" said Mickeal. \r\n\"I had some opportunities to visit a lot of the [United States] during my \r\ncollege career, but going overseas has been an eye-opening experience. I have \r\nbeen to poor places in the States before, but I have been to third-world \r\ncounties and seen what real poverty is. I know what it is like to be rich in the \r\nface of a lot of poverty. It makes you really appreciate your family and the way \r\nof life that you have come accustomed to. Playing there and all the places I \r\nhave been really puts things in perspective for you.\"

\r\n

Mickeal has spent the past six years of his life going through a \r\nmental/spiritual maturation that has helped guide him to a point where he \r\nrealizes there is more to this world then basketball. Roundball has merely been \r\nthe avenue to teaching him this.

\r\n

\"Since I have been overseas I have learned some Greek, Russian, Spanish and \r\nthe local languages in the Philippines to help me not only live day-to-day there \r\nbut to get to know a lot about the people and the place that I look to call home \r\nfor a year or two at a time. There are a lot of guys that come overseas and only \r\ncome for the paycheck. They play the game and then go back to their apartment. I \r\ndo not want to be one of those guys; I want to make the best of this opportunity \r\nand really experience what life [in many different places] is all about.\"

\r\n

One aspect of the foreign lifestyle that Mickeal has seen as similar between \r\nthe USA and all his stops internationally has been the passionate outcry in \r\ncelebration of sport, in particularly basketball. Basketball in many ways is \r\nmore than a commonality that serves to bond all of the countries together, \r\nmaking the transition from one place to another a little easier, but it is also \r\nthe ticket that has allowed him to make this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

\r\n

\"If it was not for basketball I definitely would not have had the chance to \r\ndo many of things I have had the opportunity to do the past few years,\" \r\nresponded Mickeal. \"I would not have had the opportunity to earn a college \r\ndegree or been able to travel and see many of these places that I have had the \r\nchance to call home at various points along the way. I really thank basketball \r\nfor blessing me with this opportunity at making a living for myself doing what I \r\nlove but also for teaching me so much about life and the world.\"

\r\n

One thing he has learned about the world is their passion for the game of \r\nbasketball.

\r\n

\"What Europeans and the people around the world like about the game is really \r\nthe same thing you would expect to see in an American gym. They love the dunk, \r\nthe fancy pass and the three-pointer. They really love the three-pointer!\"

\r\n

Mickeal attributes much of the development on his game to the foreign love of \r\nthe perimeter game.

\r\n

\"I think playing over there has helped me to become more comfortable playing \r\non the wing, said the small forward. \"Coming here they wanted me to play more of \r\nan inside game on the block. They wanted me to do more rebounding, but because \r\nthey have their point guards to their centers shooting from the outside, it has \r\nmade me work on that aspect of my game as well. I think playing in this style \r\nhas helped make me a more versatile or complete ball player, which is important \r\nbecause it is so difficult to find a spot at the small forward in the NBA. Now, \r\nI can maybe slid down and play shooting guard because of the emphasis they have \r\non shooting and ball handling.\"

\r\n

While there are definite comparisons between what the fans enjoy about the \r\ngame of basketball at each corner of the globe, there are not the adequate \r\nassociations between American fans and those of the rest of the world when it \r\ncomes to watching (and some would saying participating) in the sport itself. \r\nWith a tradition rich in \"hooliganism\" based in their love of futbol, the \r\ninternational community has seen that mentality transcend all sports. Now at any \r\ngame you can see a passion sport unparalleled when compared to the professional \r\nequivalent found stateside.

\r\n

\"Fans in Europe are crazy over there,\" said a chuckling Mickeal. \"They like \r\nto be really involved in the game. They think they are apart of the game. Here, \r\nat professional games, it seems like fans are a lot more laid back. They are \r\nthere to be entertained and are not as invested in the games a lot of times as \r\nthey are in the rest of the world.\"

\r\n

The most favored comparison between what can be seen on a regular basis \r\n\"there\" and here in terms of fan involvement is at the college ranks.

\r\n

\"I think the way that international fans and the college basketball fans we \r\nhave here approach the game very similarly,\" said Mickeal. \"College fans really \r\nthink that they can have an impact in the game, and that they are almost a part \r\nof the team. Both there and here there is definitely a sense of home-field \r\nadvantage because of that mentality.\"

\r\n

Mickeal recalls many great times while playing at UC. He mentions many times \r\nwhere he was able to feel the love of the fans.

\r\n

\"I thought we were going to win every game at UC no matter whom we were \r\nplaying. I felt that way not only because of the incredibly talented teams, but \r\nalso because I knew we had our fans behind us and they made it a tough \r\nenvironment for teams to come into (Fifth Third Arena) and hope to be \r\nsuccessful. They were intimidating – and still are!\"

\r\n

However, one point constantly reiterated throughout the interview and the \r\nselect instances I have spent talking with Mickeal was not how great the fans \r\nand people at UC were on game day. No, instead, he emphasized it was the manner \r\nby which the University and the overall people of the Queen City managed to make \r\nhim feel that really made his time at UC one of the best times of his life.

\r\n

\"Cincinnati was where I was meant to be! I learned so much during my time \r\nhere that I wish I had had the opportunity to be here all four years. There are \r\nnot a lot of schools in the middle of the city the way UC is, and it does a \r\ngreat job of really representing the Queen City and all it embodies. I \r\nundoubtedly had one of the best times of my life there. Not just during games or \r\nthings related to basketball, but just being made to go to class and living in \r\nthe Cincinnati area were so great for me.\"

If you missed part one of the Pete Mickeal story click the following link.

Pete Mickeal Part One

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