DuVal junior Michael Cunningham had just left school last Thursday when he received a text message from Towson University assistant Bruce Shingler. A former Bladensburg and D.C. Assault coach, Shingler congratulated Cunningham on a successful season, closing with a line that made the player grin: “Your offer is on the table.”
Just like that, Cunningham – a 6-foot-1 guard who averaged 18.1 points per game this season – had his first Division I scholarship offer.
“I didn’t really expect it now, but it’s nice to know that it’s out there,” said Cunningham, who attended two Towson football games in the fall. “If you want it, you have somewhere to go play college basketball for free.”
Cunningham’s first season at the Lanham public school ended in disappointing fashion with last Tuesday’s 85-54 loss to Wise, but the offer two days later, showed how much ground he gained on the recruiting front during the high school season.
The guard played sparingly during his sophomore campaign at Paul VI before moving on to his third high school in as many years. He boosted his stock with the Tigers thanks to a flurry of impressive stat lines, including a stretch that included two triple-doubles in a three-game span.
While Cunningham scored a season-low six points against the Pumas, he’s already begun gearing up for what will be an important offseason on the AAU circuit.
On Monday night, Cunningham attended his first workout with D.C. Assault at Parkdale. A former member of Team Takeover, he spent last summer largely working out on his own with few chances to impress recruiters. That’s expected to change this time around.
“All it takes is one person to believe in you and say, ‘You’re good enough to play at this level,” said DuVal Coach Lafayette Dublin, a former Towson forward. “I know they’ve been to quite a few games, probably three or four, and I think they wanted to be the first to offer and show him they’re impressed enough to make the first move. … I think if Mike continues to work, this summer should be big for him.”
Cunningham said he’s also been in contact with an assistant at Xavier and is trying to work out a time in the near future to take an unofficial visit to the Atlantic 10 school. He reiterated that he intends to stay at DuVal to finish out his high school career.
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