This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A national title. A state title. A national dunk contest victory. Now, an All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award.
Eric Mika's banner year continued this weekend as the former Lone Peak High School center dominated in the inaugural West Coast All-Star Classic at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash. The Brigham Young University commit scored 28 points en route to the game's All-Star Game MVP honors, as Percy Allen of The Seattle Times reported Saturday.
According to this story by Allen, Mika had five dunks and five blocks for Team East. Players who have committed to such schools as Missouri, Ohio State, Michigan State, Arizona, Washington, UCLA and others participated in the All-Star Game. The West squad defeated the East 123-121.
"If we would have played the whole game like we did in the fourth quarter, we would have dominated," Mika told The Seattle Times.
In a separate blog post by Allen, the Times' reporter said of Mika: "Arguably the best player on the floor was BYU-bound Eric Mika. He had a smile on his face most of the game and seemed to enjoy plaing against Missouri-bound Torren Jones. Mika is an athletic big man at 6-9 and 220 pounds ... he runs the floor well and finishes strong at the rim."
In January, I spoke to ESPN.com scout Reggie Rankin about Mika and it just was rave review after rave review.
"I absolutely love Eric Mika," Rankin said. "I think he is an excellent prospect. He's live, he has athletic ability, he competes and he plays hard. He rebounds. Everything that touches his hands, he rebounds it.
"He works hard in the post to defend the post. He's very, very impressive. I got to see him play for the first time back in July and have been on the bandwagon ever since."
Foreshadowing Mika's performance in Washington this weekend, Rankin said in January that Mika's get-up-and-go mentality on fast-breaks are what set him apart from other big-man prospects across the country, saying any clear path to the rim is an easy dunk.
"If Eric Mika was available, he'd be the highest-recruited big man in the country right now," Rankin said. "That's how good I think he can be."
Mika told me a few weeks ago that he's been working out with former BYU big man Brandon Davies as the Provo High product preps for the upcoming NBA Draft process. Mika said his summer classes at BYU start in June.