After Star-Crossed College Days, Michael Glover Carving Out Pro Career

By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG

glover-woodenNEW YORK – Former Iona College star Michael Glover has led the very definition of a star-crossed career.

From the now-defunct American Christian Academy, to suing the NCAA and Big East once the Clearinghouse deemed him ineligible at Seton Hall, to a season at College of Eastern Utah, followed by two standout years with the Gaels, Glover has been something of an enigma for a lot of years now.

Inside one month until his 26th birthday, Glover is removed from college and has a year of professional basketball under his belt with Hacettepe of the TBL, Turkey’s first division. Now, with seemingly less craziness surrounding him, he appears to be approaching the game with a much clearer head.

“It was definitely a learning process because, like anybody else, that was my first job out of college,” Glover told SNY.tv after his Bingo’s AIl Stars fell to the Sean Bell All-Stars in front of a packed house at Colonel Young Playground on Sunday evening. “It taught me a lot, to stay poised as far as being a rookie on a team. It was definitely a humbling experience as far as meshing with the veterans and not to go off track when things aren’t going your way.”

A 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward, Glover was always a little undersized for the post, but that never stopped him. He averaged 18.4 points and 9.6 rebounds in 70 games for Iona before going undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft. He made his way to Hacettepe and was mostly solid, averaging 11.4 points while shooting 59 percent from the floor in 21.7 minutes per game.

As a point of reference, the TBL is regarded as a strong European league. Galatasaray, the 2013 TBL champ, Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahce Ulker are all EuroLeague participants. Among the numerous American imports and former NBA players who played their last season, Jordan Farmar was the biggest name in playing for Anadolu Efes, while Fenerbahce Ulker boasted Nets Euro-stash Bojon Bogdanovic on its roster.

“The competition, everything out there was great playing in the first division, playing against dudes that have seen the NBA, guys that have some years on me,” Glover said. “It’s always good to play against those dudes and take some notes on how to carry myself and how to improve my game at the same time.”

No one ever anointed Glover a sure-fire NBA player when he was in high school, but the talent was always there. His college career took a while to get started after he was deemed ineligible at Seton Hall over several courses he took at American Christian. He paid his own way and lost a year of eligibility in the process before his ill-fated lawsuit was thrown out of court in October, 2008. The year at College of Eastern Utah proved productive before giving way to his long-awaited Division I debut at Iona.

With head coach Tim Cluess at the helm, Glover helped lead a revival of sorts in New Rochelle as the Gaels have been to consecutive NCAA Tournaments and two of the last three MAAC championship games. Glover, a Big East recruit, was impressed with the level of play in the MAAC and the teams Iona was playing against in his time there.

“The MAAC that I saw and that I experienced two years ago, I didn’t think that was too far from the Big East,” said Glover, who maintains a good relationship with Cluess and his staff. “We had a lot of great competition and we had a great strength of schedule. I think that put us on the map and even helped open the door for the young kids coming out of high school that we showed you can play a high level of basketball in the MAAC.”

Glover has not yet signed with a team for next season, but said he is contemplating offers from teams in the Turkey, Mexico and Argentina.

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