May 23, 2012 - Cager Nick Tatu is taking his skills to a new court after committing to join Trine University's Men's Basketball team next season.
Nick Tatu jumps for a shot during the Wolves 2011-2012 season. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
"It is a big relief," Tatu said about becoming a member of the Trine Thunder, a NCAA Division III university and member of the Michigan Intercollegiat Athletic Association.
"The recruiting process isn't very fun," he added. "Some coaches will tell you false information but Coach Brooks Miller meant everything he told me. He said he wanted me as his number one recruit and he meant it."
Tatu also liked the setting of Trine University, a small school in Angola, Indiana.
'The school size is smaller than Clarkston High School," he said. "The class sizes are really small. I will get the personal attention from my teachers and I will do better in school."
Though it is a small school there are still a lot of events Tatu is excited about being a part of.
"It has a big school feel outside on campus," he said. "There is a lot of campus life."
Tatu has played basketball since he was in first grade and has loaned his skills and techniques to the Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball team since he was a freshman.
During the four years he has helped the team win three district titles and one regional title in his freshman year, 2008-2009. During the same season the Wolves made it to the Final Four in the MHSAA Boys Basketball playoffs at Breslin Center. He hit a game-high during his senior season with 47 points against Troy, Feb. 7.
It was his love for the game that made him continue in college.
"I felt if I stopped playing I would miss it," Tatu said. "My brother decided not to continue playing when he went to college. I didn't want to have the same regret."
It was his toughness on the court that first caught Miller's eye at a AAU event in Indianapolis last summer.
"There were thousands of kids there and we were following some of the Michigan teams," Miller said. "We saw him on the floor. We loved all the stuff he was doing on the floor - taking dives, making plays, knocking down all the shots - all the things well-coached tough kids do. He does all the little things to win games."
The Trine Thunder finished last season in third place in the MIAA with a 15-11 winning season. Tatu's
"We are extremely excited to have a kid of his character and ability to be part of our university, let alone our basketball program," Miller said. "His toughness and guts will be huge for our program. He is a great representative of what we want to be about on and off of the floor. We feel fortunate and can't wait to get him on campus."
For aspiring cagers, Tatu left the advice to work hard every day.
"It goes by fast," he added. "Faster than would ever think it would. Capture the moment."
Tatu will be studying criminal justice at Trine University and wants to become part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.