After graduating from Arundel last spring, Markus Oliphant’s best basketball option was taking a post-grad year at Mount Zion Prep in Baltimore City. This spring, the former Wildcats star had a much tougher decision to make.
“I got about eight offers just off practice, no games or anything,” said Oliphant, who claimed offers from Cleveland State, Missouri State, Morgan State, Siena and South Carolina State, among others.
After a weekend visit to Cleveland State, Oliphant decided on the Vikings. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound shooting guard plans to redshirt during the 2014-15 season to get stronger and more prepared for Division I competition.
“I liked everything about [the visit]. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like,” Oliphant said. “I liked where it’s at, downtown Cleveland. There’s a lot of stuff by it. [And I liked] the campus life, everything.”
Oliphant, who played Amateur Athletic Union basketball for D.C. Assault, said he wasn’t totally discouraged by not getting any offers in high school.
“It wasn’t frustrating because I’ve seen people before that could play but didn’t go anywhere,” he said. “I just played through and decided to go prep.”
The Cleveland State coaches told Oliphant that they liked his athleticism, his aggressiveness, and his potential as a defensive stopper.
Oliphant had planned to visit Siena until another player took his scholarship offer, but he said the “overall feel” of Cleveland State was too much for other schools to beat. Committing to the Vikings was a total “relief.”
“I’ve finally seen all the hard work I’ve put in pay off,” Oliphant said. “I always thought I could play DI, so I’m happy I’m living up to that at least.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun