Men’s basketball star Mike Muscala ’13 headed to the NBA

Doug Hendry, Assistant Sports Editor

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Mike Muscala’s ’13 time to shine in the NBA is finally here. The 6-foot-11-inch former Bison center has been playing basketball in Spain for the past few months, but the Atlanta Hawks bought out his contract on Feb. 25 so that he could join the team in the United States.

Thanks to his prestigious four-year career at the University, Muscala was the third Bison athlete to be selected in the NBA draft (behind Al Leslie ’81 and Jaye Andrews ’85). He is the only player in Patriot League history to record 2,000+ points (2036) and 1,000+ rebounds (1093). He led the team to three consecutive Patriot League regular season championships as well as two appearances in the NCAA tournament. If that isn’t enough, he also was a four-time All-Patriot League selection, two-time Patriot League Player of the Year, and two-time Patriot League Tournament MVP. He appeared in 133 total games.

Muscala was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the NBA draft with the 44th overall pick. His rights were then traded to the Atlanta Hawks following the selection. He played very well in the Las Vegas Summer League, but the Hawks loaded roster forced Muscala to play elsewhere. To keep Muscala in game-shape and available to sign, the Hawks sent him to Spain to play for the Blusens Monbus Obradoiro in the ACB League.

Muscala was ready for the chance to play against some new competition, as well as the chance to work on his Spanish along the way. The ACB League is considered one of the better European leagues. Obradoiro may not have been a dominant team this year, but at the time of his buyout, Muscala was first in the league in rebounding with 7.8 per game and seventh in scoring with 14.6 points per game. He also shot 54 percent from the field and 87.1 percent from the line in 26.8 minutes per game.

His success, combined with the list of injuries suffered by the Atlanta Hawks, has led to Muscala’s first chance to play in an NBA game, as he will bring much needed depth to the Hawks’ bench. Injuries to Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Gustavo Ayon, and Pero Antic leaves Atlanta roster without many big men–a role that Muscala will fill nicely.

Muscala joins Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum and Colgate’s Adonal Foyle as the only Patriot League athletes to be drafted into the NBA. Atlanta is currently in talks with Muscala to bring him on to the roster and he may appear in one of their next games. Our eyes will certainly be glued to the TV screen if Muscala is able to take a giant leap for Bison athletes and everyone in the Patriot League, a leap from the courts of Spain to the Atlanta Hawks’ home court in Philips Arena.

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