July 1, 2011
Every successful team has at least one player who holds the rest together like glue. For the 2010-11 Michigan men's basketball team, that player was Colton Christian.
The freshman forward, who could be considered one of the most positive-minded members of the Wolverine squad, spent the first half of June traveling to East Asia with Athletes in Action, a Christian organization dedicated to spreading their message through the platform of sports.
Christian played in 27 games off the bench for the Maize and Blue this past season, and after his offseason workouts and overseas basketball experiences, he hopes to continue having a positive impact on the Wolverines as they head into the upcoming year.
Shortly after arriving back to the states, Christian sat down with MGoBlue.com for an exclusive interview discussing his trip overseas, as well as the upcoming Michigan season and even his love for art.
On getting involved in Athletes in Action ... "Towards the end of the year, we have our player meetings with coach Beilein and the staff. In one of my meetings he brought it up to me and said that they were finding players to come play. He thought I would fit really well on the team and asked if I was interested. Since I didn't play in Europe last year, this was a good opportunity to go get more experience overseas. That's how it came about."
On Athletes in Action overseas experience ... "It was really good. It is a Christian organization, so to be able to grow in that part of my life and also in basketball, it was a great experience. Just to meet and play with a bunch of different players, it was really good."
On comparing Michigan's European trip to AIA trip, and world basketball cultures ... "I think basketball in East Asia is a lot different than in Europe. We played a lot more games in East Asia -- we played a couple teams twice. But just the culture and experience of East Asia as a whole is a lot different, and maybe even a lot better than the trip to Europe."
On AIA experience helping in the future ... "When I was over there, the team that I was playing on forced me to play the three and I played some four also. It helped me improve my perimeter game. I think going into this next year, having played the three in East Asia will help me a lot for playing between a three or four for our team here at Michigan."
On summer preparations for upcoming season ... "Before I went to East Asia I worked out with a coach at home named Pete Knoll. I workout with him when I'm at home. I was only at home for a month before I left for training for the AIA trip -- we trained for a week before East Asia in Ohio just outside of Dayton. Now that I'm back, I'm getting on weightlifting programs and improving on other skills, like shooting."
On role on the Michigan basketball team ... "I think I'm more of a laid-back person. I don't try to get into too many problems with my teammates. I've been on some teams before where nobody gets along on the team, and you hang out with maybe one other person from the team outside of practice. That's the best thing about our team here is that we can all hang out and there are no problems between us. Between me and everybody else there are no problems. We are a pretty tight-knit family. I just try to stay positive and keep people from getting mad at each other."
On being a lifelong Seattle Supersonics fan ... "I've always stuck with the Supersonics. With a situation like there was in Seattle, I understand why they had to leave. It's hard to just pick up another team when I've always rooted for them my whole life. I'll have to root for the Oklahoma City Thunder until Seattle gets a new team."
On love for art ... "I draw. I've been trying to get into the school of architecture. I've always drawn since I was little, so I've always been interested in doing that. When I was younger, one of my neighbors was an art teacher. Whenever I went over to their house to hang out with my neighbors there was always something going on with art. My mom always thinks that it's so weird that I'm interested in art because she's not creative at all, and my dad is somewhat creative but that's not really what he's into. So I don't really know where it came from. It's good that I room with someone like Jon Horford because he's into the same kind of stuff that I am. He's into some art stuff and things like that."
2011 Summer Basketball Q&A Series: Catching Up with the Wolverines
• Catching Up with Forward Jon Horford (6/24/2011)
• Catching Up with Forward Jordan Morgan (6/17/2011)
• Catching Up with Captain Zack Novak (6/10/2011)
• Catching Up with Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (6/3/2011)
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423