Chris Dortch of NBA.com looked at the path that former BYU big man Eric Mika took to the NBA, including his background in lacrosse, his missionary service and his time at BYU.
After talking about Mika’s transition from lacrosse to basketball and his numbers during his freshman season at BYU, Dortch shifted his attention to Mika’s mission in Italy, saying, “Suffice it to say Mika had a lot of time as he walked countless miles during the course of his mission, to think about life in general, and his in particular. Though he barely touched a basketball, a hoop monster was growing inside him, just because his worldview had been forever altered.”
After quoting Mika on how mission life was, Dortch continued, saying, “Mika realized something else in Italy. He loved basketball. And he missed it. So when his mission ended and he returned to Utah in May 2016, he went to work.”
Dortch then looked at the progress Mika made at BYU before and during his sophomore season, the kind of numbers he produced and the decision to enter the draft.
He then quoted Mika talking about his chances to make an NBA roster, saying, “I like my chances. I’m confident that a team’s going to like me and take a chance on me. I know I’m doing my part and the right thing will happen. If that means I go right at the beginning of the second round, great; if it means I’m the last pick in the draft and a team’s going to put me on a two-way roster, then that’s great.
“I took as many different paths as anyone has ever taken to get here. If that means I have to keep going on a different path to really solidify myself in the league, that’s great. That’s fine. I’m up for the challenge. Whatever it takes to get there, I’m ready to do it.”
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