He’s not going to go down as one of the greatest players in the history of University of Michigan basketball. He won’t be known as someone who changed the game or would’ve changed it at the next level. There was nothing about his game that made the pro scouts drool.
But the University of Michigan still laments the loss of point guard Spike Albrecht and really, so should the entire world of college basketball.
On Friday the 11th of November, Albrecht announced that he was ending his on the court career to allow for a nagging hip injury to finally heal. For a kid who was having trouble getting out of bed and out of his desk at class, the fact that it took him this long to finally succumb is pretty amazing.
Fans all over college basketball might not recognize his name immediately until you bring up the 2013 National Championship game against Louisville. With Player of the Year Trey Burke on the bench, the freshmen that would later be dubbed “The Baby Faced Assassin” would step in and start raining 3’s in a half like no other. Spike Albrecht literally made it a game almost by himself.
Pretty good for a kid who the University of Michigan security thought was a manager the first time he showed up.
I personally remember him as the guy who after injuries kept knocking players out last season would essentially play from start to finish in 2015, averaging 32 minutes a game. He never asked to be the star on or off the court, never wanted to be the focus of the offense. He was just the guy that did what was asked of him and what needed to be done. The entire time he was battling through the hip injury that inevitably cost him the rest of his collegiate career.
And that’s why the rest of college basketball should lament the retirement of Spike Albrecht.
He was the the guy that parents could point out to their sons and daughters who wanted to play but were never sure if they were good enough. Spike had one other scholarship offer from Appalachian State and that’s it. No one but he and John Beilein thought he was good enough. He went from the kid mistaken for a manager, to postseason hero, to two-time team captain and the MVP of the 2014-2015 team. He kept his head down, played like a team player and showed everyone what the little guy could do.
Spike Albrecht was one of the best stories sports can offer and the game will be worse off without him. At least if you’re going to retire, you might as well retire as one of the most beloved players in recent memory. Best of luck in whatever you do Spike and thanks for the memories.