First recruit plans to sign with NIU basketball team

By Kari Brackett

Elgin High School’s Mike Beck will sign a letter of intent Saturday night with the NIU men’s basketball team.

According to Beck’s high school coach, Jim Harrington, the senior from Elgin, Ill., verbally committed Tuesday night and will sign the agreement Saturday after the exhibition game between NIU and Club Rio Claro, Brazil.

The 6-foot-8, 205-pound center had narrowed his choices down to four before deciding on NIU.

“We sat down and talked about the recruiting process after his junior year,” Harrington said. “We discussed about 10 schools before narrowing it to four visits. (Beside NIU) we looked at Eastern Illinois, West Point and East Carolina.

“I asked him to think in his own mind the pros and cons of each school. He made his choice on Sunday, but I told him to keep it quiet for 48 hours to make sure he made the right decision. On Tuesday he was still happy with it.”

Beck said Thursday night he chose NIU because the school was the right size and in the right location.

“Compared to other schools, it had everything to offer from academics to athletics,” Beck said.

As a junior, Beck averaged 13.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game.

“He is aggressive and runs the floor well,” Harrington said. “He loves the game of basketball, and he is one of the hardest working kids I’ve worked with in my 13 years.”

As a student, Beck holds a 4.3 grade point average on a 5.0 scale and scored a 24 on his ACT.

Beck will sign with the Huskies during the NCAA’s allotted period—Nov. 9 through Nov. 15—that allows high school seniors to sign with their college choice. If no one else signs during this time, NIU cannot sign any other recruit until April 15.