Silliman, SHS grad, to play at Simpson

There's an unspoken yet understood rule regarding athletes, that few good things happen between midnight and 6 a.m.

Michael Silliman may prove to be the exception to that rule.

The 2008 graduate of Sequim High School was paying a visit to the Simpson University campus in Redding, Calif., when he spotted a group of young men playing hoops in a late-night pickup game, at about 1 a.m.

Silliman, who at 6 feet, 6 inches is an imposing player, started playing with the group. After a few dunks and strong moves to the hoop, the players - recruits at Simpson - filmed Silliman with their phones and sent the footage to the Red Hawks' coaches.

A workout later, Silliman had a scholarship offer.

"I was planning on going to Simpson anyways," the Sequim native said. "It was just one of those things that worked out."

Silliman looked to have a breakout senior season for the Sequim High Wolves in 2007-2008, but knee injuries derailed that. He took two years off from playing but still hoped to get back on the hardcourt.

"It was always my dream to go play college ball," he says. "(When) I hurt my knee my senior year people told me I was done."

Simpson is a private, liberal arts school, an evangelical, Protestant institution affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The university was founded in 1921 as Simpson Bible Institute in Seattle, relocated to San Francisco in 1955 and finally settled in Redding in 1989.

The school has about 1,300 students.

"I love the school; it fits in with what I want to do," Silliman says. He plans to major in cross-cultural studies.

"I'm hoping to start and run nonprofits," he says.

The Red Hawks, who compete in the California Pacific Conference, look to rebuild a little after losing five seniors to graduation, including their top three scorers and top three rebounders.

That, Silliman hopes, gives the Sequim player a chance to break into the rotation.

"We have a really young team this year so there'll be lot of opportunity," he says.

Practice begins Sept. 7 but Silliman has plenty on his plate before then, and it has little to do with basketball: he's headed to the Basque region of Spain, developing connections with exchange students two local churches hosted this summer.

Reach Michael Dashiell at

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