'Mikey's Got This': Michael Forrest is FAU's durable veteran on Final Four run

Andre Fernandez, Walter Villa, Miami Herald on

Published in Basketball

FAU’s Michael Forrest calmly stepped to the foul line in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

More than 1,200 miles away, his high school coach, Melvin Randall, was sweating.

“I was a nervous wreck, pacing the floor in my home,” said Randall, who coached Forrest for three years at Pompano Ely, winning two state titles together. “I couldn’t sit still.

“But I knew Mike was going to make those free throws because he was cut that way from my cloth, if I can say that. He has ice in his veins.”

That ice allowed Forrest to keep chill through the tense final moments of Saturday’s 79-76 win over Kansas State.

Forrest went 4-for-4 on free throws in the final 18 seconds, helping to send the ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic University Owls to the Final Four in Houston, where they will face fifth-seeded San Diego State (31-6) on Saturday night.


Prior to this season, FAU (35-3) had never won a single NCAA Tournament game. Now, they are two victories away from what would be a miraculous national title, and one of those triumphs may have to come against the Miami Hurricanes on Monday night.

Improbable doesn’t even begin to describe what has been accomplished in Boca Raton this season by FAU and Dusty May, who came to the Owls in March of 2018 as a first-time head coach.

May, who had been a Florida assistant in his previous stop, made Forrest – a 6-foot-1 guard — his first recruit that summer.

Forrest was being recruited by DePaul, Hofstra, James Madison and American University. Hofstra intrigued Forrest because of its New York City location.


swipe to next page

©2023 Miami Herald. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus