by Mark Morrow
Carmel’s Michael Volovic is simply DA MAN, a phrase that’s often heard at sports events or wherever fans gather to talk about sports
and extraordinary high school athletes. He’s also the only student-athlete in the same role back from last year’s Class 4A state championship team. And, quite frankly, he’s arguably the top point guard and one of the better all-around backcourt performers in the state.
He’s not very well liked by the student bodies waiting to oppose him, but he’s certainly respected by the opposition’s players and coaches. Only good players are booed – and, yeah, he’s booed a lot. That’s a lot of pressure, you say? Nah, not really. Michael Volovic likes his role. Even though, like his team, he has an especially BIG target on his back. That’s quite a testament to his ability and the talent and leadership he brings to his team.
When he brings the ball up the floor and the opposing student body boos him, he doesn’t flinch. He takes it all in stride; and though he said he doesn’t hear them, you can’t help but think he tries to add an exclamation point to his play whether he’s driving and scoring, shooting the outside shot, or making one of his standard eye-popping passes for an assist.
The boos can be deafening at times. “I really don’t hear all that stuff once I’m playing my game,” he said. “I’m just so into what I need to do; I’m very focused. I’ve seen film after games where the boos were ringing out, and I just shake my head and laugh. It’s pretty unreal. Really unreal. I play to win and that’s all I’m thinking about, plus helping to get the other guys involved in our offense.”
Just like the way he leads the Greyhounds on the floor, he’s the leader off it, too. When you walk through the Carmel doors to the dressing room, on the door are these words: “Enter with the heart of a champion.” That’s Michael Volovic in a nutshell.
“When we moved him up to varsity as a sophomore, he made our team better. Last year with Michael at the point, we won state,” Carmel coach Scott Heady said. “I’ve seen lots of point guards. I’ve been saying for three seasons now than he’s among the best, if not THE best. I can’t imagine anyone better, and I certainly would not trade him for anyone else. Michael is a winner. When you talk about a winner, you’re talking about Michael. He really does have the heart of a champion. I just don’t think he’s ever really received the recognition he deserves.”
Coach Heady likes the ball in the hands of his 5-10 spark plug guard. When he draws fouls and gets to the free-throw line, the opposing team usually pays big time. Michael shoots 93.33 percent from the charity stripe. He shoots 49.4 from the field (48.2 on 2s, 52.2 on 3s). And, amazingly, he takes only around 11 shots per game while averaging 17 points. He also averages 5.3 assists and 2.0 steals.
Michael said he’s yet to have a Division I school offer him a scholarship. He said he might even try to walk on at Butler. “I like coach Stevens (Brad), the school, and the program,” Michael said. “I know I can play, and it would be great to stay close to home. When he leaves Carmel, Michael Volovic said he just wants to be known as a leader. He’d also like to be able to say he was a member of the Indiana All Stars. “But,” I would rather our senior class be remembered than myself,” he said in a serious tone. “I’m all about team. My team comes first. Anything else, well, if it’s meant for me, then so be it. It might happen and, if so, it would be nice.”
“Like, maybe a second straight state basketball championship, something Carmel has not done?” he was asked. “Exactly. If we can get out of a very tough sectional again (the sectional is February 26, March 1-2 at Carmel), then anything is possible. It’s great that it’ll be played at our place,” said Michael. “We were No. 1 after last season, and we’ve been ranked No. 1 this season. We’d like to finish No. 1 again in the end. I mean, another state title would be quite a legacy.”