Mike Gansey made the most of his time with the WVU basketball team.
He joined the Mountaineers before the 2003 season, but had to sit out because of NCAA transfer rules. Gansey, an Olmstead Falls, OH native, came to Morgantown from Saint Bonaventure. So, after watching from the bench during a NIT campaign in 2003-04, Gansey was thrust into the starting lineup the next season.
For Gansey and West Virginia, it was a match made in almost heaven.
Gansey helped the Mountaineers to the Elite Eight in 2005. In 2016, he played a part in the Cleveland Cavaliers winning their first NBA Championship.
Gansey, since joining the Cavaliers organization in 2011, plays a vital role in the player development aspect for the team. Gansey directly oversees the Development League program, which includes the Canton Charge.
As the general manager for the Charge, Gansey has to make his players ready for a call up to Cleveland. He also does his own part in draft analysis and practice execution. For a time, Gansey had another former Mountaineer on his team in Kevin Jones.
He is good for the role, because Gansey was one of the most gritty players the Mountaineers have ever had suit up in the old gold and blue.
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Gansey led by example with his heart and hustle. He stood 6-foot-4, but was never the most physically intimidating guy on the court. He busted his butt all the time and it paid off.
He averaged 14.4 points per game, while grabbing 5.4 rebounds, in his two seasons with the WVU basketball team. Learning from former head coach John Beilein, Gansey practiced both the development side and execution side of Beilein’s coaching philosophy.
Along with players like Patrick Beilein, Kevin Pittsnogle, J.D. Collins and Joe Herber, Gansey helped the Mountaineers rise back to national prominence. In the process, it helped Coach Beilein move up to Michigan and, indirectly, bring Bob Huggins back to Morgantown.
Everything is right in the world with West Virginia athletics, at this time, at Gansey helped play a part in that.
Even though he is now off the court, Gansey has earned his spot within the basketball world.
“It was hard,” Gansey said of the transition from the court to the front office in an article by Cam Huffman. “I didn’t know, from playing so many years, what it was going to be like to do the front office stuff, but I’m around basketball every day, so I’m fortunate.
“I’m just learning every day, and I’m blessed to still be in basketball. I think I have one of the best jobs in the world to be able to travel the world and go all over the country to see these college games. I’m very lucky, and I love my job.”
It’s safe to say he feels a little more rewarded following the Cavaliers’ run to the NBA title. It’s always good to acknowledge former Mountaineers who go on to great things.
This won’t be the last we hear of Mike Gansey doing big things in the professional ranks.