Michaels, Teammates Win First Game at Portsmouth Invitational

News Release Date:
Thursday, April 12, 2012

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College senior David Michaels and his Portsmouth Partnership teammates won their opener Thursday night at the 60th Annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Va.

David Michaels

With Michaels contributing 10 points, six rebounds and three steals, Portsmouth Partnership posted an 85-79 victory over a team sponsored by the Mike Duman auto dealership.

For the most part, Portsmouth Partnership played well as a team and led by 15 points in the second half before the opposition rallied to make it close at the end, Michaels said.

"It was really great to get out there and play well as a team, especially since we haven't had much time to get to know each other," he said said. "So, I was happy with how we pulled out the win tonight."

Michaels, a 6-foot-7 forward and the 2012 Northwest Conference Player of the Year, hit two of three shots from the 3-point line in scoring his 10 points.

His long-distance accuracy comes as no surprise to Whitman fans who followed his senior season. He shot 52 percent from the 3-point line, making 26 of 50 attempts in NWC games, and was 37 of 80 (46.2 percent) for the entire season.

As one of only two NCAA Division III players in the tournament, Michaels is adjusting to DI and DII players that generally bring more size to the floor.

"The guys are bigger and stronger, but I'm playing more of a two guard-small forward spot, so I don't have to bang down low with the big guys as much."

The victory sends the Portsmouth Partnership club into a tournament semifinal game at 9 p.m. (EST) Friday against a team sponsored by Roger Brown's Restaurant. A second win would move Michaels and new teammates into the tournament title game at 8 p.m. (EST) Saturday.

The Portsmouth Invitational, the oldest amateur basketball tournament in the nation, is  designed to showcase the talents of 64 top seniors in front of scouts from all 30 NBA teams and 100-plus professional teams from around the world.

The 64 seniors have been divided into eight eight-man rosters with each team guaranteed to play three games in the championship or consolation bracket.

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Michaels is the first NCAA DIII player since 2004 to be invited to the tournament.

Players who kicked off their pro careers at past Portsmouth tournaments range from John Stockton and Scottie Pippen to Derek Fisher and Jeremy Lin. Marquette's Jimmy Butler, who earned MVP honors at last year's tourney, was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bulls.

Nearly 60 former P.I.T. players are on NBA rosters at the present time, and many more are continuing their playing careers in top leagues in Europe and elsewhere around the globe.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu