Junior 6-foot-8 forward Eric Mika formalized his commitment to play basketball at BYU on Friday.
The situation is a bit unusual, since right now, Mika is officially the team manager for the Knights.
He has lived in Alpine seven years and transferred back to his residence school during the summer after previously attending Waterford, a private school in Salt Lake City, where he was an All-State player in 2A last season averaging 17.1 points and 12.2 rebounds per game.
Road construction delays and the cancellation of the in-school seminary program led Mika and his family to the decision to make the move. However, his application for a hardship waiver was denied by the UHSAA and so he's sitting out the season.
His quality as a player is known, however, from his work on the AAU circuit and in other summer settings. He'd received offers from several Ivy League colleges as well as BYU and other in-state schools before making his decision.
According to father Ron Mika, there were a few reasons why Eric chose the Cougars.
"First and foremost, Eric has been very impressed with the basketball program. It has a great tradition, great coaches, and is an overall good fit.
"There is also a family history at the institution," Mika continued. "His mother and I both went there, and he's had four other siblings go there as well. Two have graduated, one went as a freshman and is currently serving a mission, and one other is presently enrolled."
It was the experiences of his missionary brother, Alek, which had a major influence on Eric's decision.
"He was recruited to be part of the BYU club lacrosse program," Ron explained. "He had an overall balanced experience, athletically, academically and socially. That's what Eric is looking forward to.
"He's also excited at the prospect of playing with two future teammates (Nick Emery and TJ Haws), and BYU has a certain flexibility around missions," the father said. With a mid-year birthday, Mika plans to enroll for his freshman year before serving.
Beky Beaton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @BeatonWrite.