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Athlete of the Week

Baenziger fulfills dream

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February 23, 2011 - Every Saturday during basketball season, young aspiring basketball players ranging from 7- to 14-years-old attend the McGrath Basketball Camp run by the varsity boy's basketball team head coach, Dan Fife.

Junior point guard Mitch Baenziger was once of them - dreaming of playing on the varsity team when they got into high school.

Baenziger began his love for basketball at 10- years-old and has cherished it ever since.

"I began playing for fun at Basketball America and McGrath but as I got better I moved on to the Clarkston Scrappers (an AAU program), then of course to middle school basketball and so on," said Baenziger.

Baenziger said he is proud to be placed in such an important role for Clarkston as the starting point guard for the Wolves.

"There's a lot of tradition behind Clarkston Basketball, a lot of people in the community attend our games and support the team, I feel honored to be the starting point guard and I hope to have a great year," said Baenziger.

"There are a ton of expectations that go along with playing for Clarkston Basketball. Thus far, this season we have not lived up to those expectations and this is disappointing to me and my team. Hopefully in the next few games we can turn things around and get back on track," Baenziger stated.

Baenziger's older brother, Jon (a 2009 Clarkston grad), played under Fife for two years on the varsity team.

"It's nice having a role model that knows what I go through. My older brother gives me advice and support along with the rest of my family," said Baenziger.

When the winter season ends, Baenziger will play AAU basketball for R.E.A.C.H., a team based out of Detroit.

Baenziger said that AAU basketball brings a different atmosphere to the game than high school does.

Baenziger is also a quarterback on the varsity football team, a tough task in itself.

"I had a lot of expectations prior to this football season, but due to an unfortunate injury, I wasn't able to play much except for three games. Hopefully I can stay healthy next year," he said.

Not only does Baenziger excel in athletics, he is also very strong in the classroom. He is enrolled in the CSM Tech program, a rigorous 4-year curriculum focusing mainly on math and science.

"I get a lot of homework and it ends up being a long night after practice, but for the most part I can keep up with my studies," said Baenziger.

Baenziger hopes to play basketball in college, another goal he's had for a long time, and has received letters from Division 1 schools.

Gabe Comos is a junior at Clarkston High School.
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