Michael Fleming is a senior and basketball shooting guard.
On the court: Take a few minutes and study the floor game of Stevenson guard Michael Fleming. It won't take long. The senior has become a shooting star at Stevenson. He can beat an opponent with a drive to the hoop. He can hit an opposing defense with a long three-pointer.
Fleming's Stevenson's club finished second in the recent Wheeling Hardwood Classic and the senior was named the most outstanding player at the tourney. In a win over Prospect in this tourney, Fleming hit the Knights for a career-high 29 points.
"Mike has stepped up his game on and off the court tremendously," said Stevenson boys basketball coach Pat Ambrose. "He has taken the senior leadership role with vigor. His focus and determination show in many ways."
Determination is the key word here. Fleming was a good player last year. Now he's on the cusp of greatness.
"I am definitely improved over last year," Fleming said. "I've always worked hard in the summer. I think I'm one of the better players in the North Shore. "I'm hoping my talent will allow me to play next year in college."
Certainly the addition of flashy point guard Jalen Brunson has helped turn Fleming into a dangerous scoring threat.
"I've played point guard my whole life," Fleming said. "Now I'm able to focus and be one of the guys who scores."
Of course, Fleming does more than put the ball in the basket.
"On the court, he is stronger, more aware defensively and found more avenues to score," Ambrose said. "He is not just a shooter — he is becoming more complete a player every day."
Team update: The Pats are 10-2 and are coming off a nine-game winning streak. Most impressive was the victory over Warren on Dec. 6. The Blue Devils finished second in the state last March.
The schedule continues Friday (Jan. 6) when the Patriots host NSC Lake foe Lake Forest (7:30 p.m.).
Off the court: For young Fleming it was basketball, baseball and soccer. But he found quickly that it was basketball that would take over his life.
"I had a passion for basketball," Fleming said. "I fell in love with it. I didn't have the passion for the other sports."
The senior will watch basketball at home and still find out that the game fascinates him.
"It's not a score every time but I love how fast a game it is,'' he said. "And I love the competitiveness of the game."
His interest in the game of basketball took him to travel basketball with the Lincolnshire Lightning while in the fifth grade. He later took part in the Full Package programs.
Believe it or not, Fleming does have other interests than just basketball.
"I like hanging out with my friends and family," he said. "Other than that, I'm in the gym."
His goal is clear. He wants to play college basketball.
"I've worked extremely hard to get to this point," he said. "It's a dream come true. I definitely want to play basketball in college. I'm talking to schools. No college coach wants someone who will score points and still lose games. They want someone who can help a team to win."
And after 12 games, Fleming is one player helping his team win.
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