Micheal Cheatum, in white drives against two opposing players.
Some people play basketball for recreation or for novelty, but to Michael Cheatum, a 23 year old guard/small forward for Central Oregon Community College’s intramural basketball team, “Splashmode” is much more. He plays the game with an “I came to take advantage of what you all take for granted” swag.
Originally from Tacoma, Washington, Cheatum has been living in Bend for a little over a year. He became interested in basketball around the age of 13 from watching his big brother play. In addition, he saw how basketball could help him get exposed to different friends and social groups like becoming a letterman and getting into other athletic functions. Cheatum worked and gained his skills from playing at the local YMCA back home. He states that his big brother is the one who he emulates his style of game after, but also that he liked to watch Kobe Bryant do his “thang” when the L.A. Lakers are in crunch time.
Cheatum plays the game now for the “love of it.” to stay in shape and the opportunity to have that sense of family a squad can afford. His skill set was displayed during the Oct. 12 game against opposing COCC’s team, the Bobcats. A 5’11” forward, Cheatum impacted the game by making passes that placed his teammates in the right positions to get a bucket, vocalizing where opponents were during a fast-break, tracking the ball and
making plays on it and reacting to on-ball defending.
He had 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals filling up the whole box score. Cheatum’s aggressiveness however, got him into foul
trouble by picking up three fouls before the first half ended, but ended the game with only four fouls still playing 14 minutes out of the 20 minute half and he also had three turnovers.
In the post-game interview Cheatum said, “Overall it was a good game, I played a little sloppy, but all in all, got the W.”
Stephen MacDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org