A few years ago if you asked Courtney Sims what his plans for college were he might have told you that he wanted to play tennis. After all, the Boston native did win the Youth Games Nationals three times. But now, a few years later, and seven inches taller, Sims will be playing basketball for Michigan, a school he has wanted to go to since he was a kid.

Paul Wong

Michigan coach Tommy Amaker proved once again how talented of a recruiter he is, securing another blue-chip recruit.

“I just felt very comfortable with Tommy Amaker,” Sims said. “I connected with him and I always wanted to go to Michigan.”

With Sims, Amaker secured his third verbal commitment by a top-100 recruit for the 2003-04 season, after locking up Dion Harris and Brent Petway earlier this year. Sims committed to the Michigan basketball program last week and according to Sims’ high school coach, the Wolverines got a gem.

“As a player he is about as talented offensively as you can find,” Noble & Greenough basketball coach Michael Herring said. “He’s 6-11 and 225 (pounds) and can shoot the ball very well from beyond the arc. He hits a lot of threes for us, and he can post you up. He can shot fake, take one or two hard dribbles and hit the mid-range shot.”

Sims offensive skills are not the only thing he brings to the table. Despite seriously picking up basketball just four years ago, Sims is also a force on the other end of the court.

“Defensively he is clearly one of the best shot blockers in the country,” Herring said. “He will be a force.”

After two years of coaching Sims, Herring knows what kind of individual Michigan is getting with the commitment of Sims.

“As a kid there is no finer person,” Herring said. “He’s a straight arrow from a great family.”

While at Michigan, Sims has a few simple goals.

“I want to win the national championship, I want to get as good as I can get and maybe go to the next level after that and to graduate.”

Sims’ mentality sounds a lot like the philosophy instilled by Amaker, and according to Sims seeing eye-to-eye with his coach made his decision to come to Michigan even easier.

Another thing that made Sims’ decision easier was his interaction with the Michigan team when he came to Ann Arbor.

“I got along well with (the team) and they showed me a nice time,” Sims said. “I heard that they liked me a lot too.”

One of Sims’ fonder memories of his campus visit occurred at the Western Michigan football game when fans started cheering his name. The unexpected surprise startled Sims.

“My mother enjoyed it more than me,” Sims joked.

With Sims, Michigan seems to have secured a top recruit with size and versatility.

“This kid is very, very talented,” Herring said. “He can absolutely score the ball virtually everywhere on the court ,and he will make his presence felt defensively and he will erase a lot of mistakes.”

With the way he plays, Sims can expect to hear Michigan fans cheering his name in years to come.

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