Carmichael to Illinois State
Prior to arriving at the South Kent School this fall for his post-graduate season, Jackie Carmichael starred at Manhattan High School in Kansas.
Twenty one years earlier, another great player, Tim Jankovich, graduated from Manhattan High School. Jankovich’s playing career took him to nearby Kansas State before a long and storied coaching career that includes a national championship while serving as an assistant coach at Kansas last year.
Following that championship, Jankovich was hired as the new head coach at Illinois State University. On Saturday, following a visit to the campus earlier in the week, Carmichael committed to play for the man with whom he has so much in common.
“Coach Jankovich treated me like a son. I love the relationship with the coach and you can talk to him anytime. It was definitely a factor,” Carmichael told Pantagraph.com.
The move back to the Midwest comes as no surprise to anyone who has been familiar with Carmichael’s recruitment as his trip to the east coast for prep school was always intended to be a brief one.
“It’s close to home, so my parents can come see me,” Carmichael said. “It was really the right place for me. I felt at home with the players, coaches, and academics. Everything was great.”
Carmichael’s addition should be a significant one for the Red Birds as they land one of the best remaining big men on the board and someone who should be capable of competing for the minutes left by the graduation of starting power forward Brandon Sampay.
“My goal is to be able to come in and help upfront and contribute in any way possible,” said Carmichael. “I’m more of a defensive presence. I’m a clean-up guy (offensively), but I’m able to shoot a 15-footer.”
Carmichael averaged 10 points and 9 rebounds per game for South Kent this year, playing on perhaps the Cardinal’s best team since joining class A of the NEPSAC.
Despite being an academic qualifier coming out of high school, the 6’9” athletic big man decided to take the additional year in New England to increase his college options. He certainly achieved that goal by generating interest from places like Georgetown, Minnesota, and Seton Hall, before opting to join Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Conference.