Forte to give it a go
Nothing can stop Michael Forte.
A season-ending injury might slow down the 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior, but it certainly won’t stop him.
Shortly after entering his final season on the North Tahoe basketball team ” looking like the small squad’s only hope for success ” Forte broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot, which ended his season before it had really started.
Not only were his final few months as a Laker basketball player cut short, but his ample college prospects lost interest when Forte became confined to a cast.
At the time of the injury, North Tahoe head coach David Hansen said there were a few college programs actively interested in Forte.
When the star post player went down and the interest inevitably dropped off, Forte didn’t let it get him down.
Hansen said that the day the doctor told Forte he could start running, he was out training with the track team.
Forte plans to attend Sonoma State University in the fall, and he plans to walk on to the Seawolves basketball team.
Walking on to a Division II team is no easy matter, but that doesn’t bother Forte.
He’s planning to play in summer leagues and is already playing in an adult league and training with his older brother in preparation for the tryout, which the 18-year-old said he’s not nervous for.
Sonoma State head basketball coach Pat Fuscaldo said about 25 or 26 players usually show up for the team’s first meeting of the season. There are 18 spots on the Seawolves’ squad.
Fuscaldo said that of those 25 or so potential players, some don’t come back after the first meeting and some don’t last through tryouts.
While the Seawolves actively recruit players to fill spots, they don’t discount walk-ons. Walk-on players who make the team usually redshirt their first year, meaning they are in addition to the 18 roster spots.
Fuscaldo said he has a scholarship player on his team this season who walked on to the program two years ago.
“You never know,” Fuscaldo said. “You might get a diamond in the rough.”
After coaching Forte through high school, Hansen said that Fuscaldo and the Seawolves would be wise to take a serious look at the incoming freshman.
“I think Sonoma State is lucky,” Hansen said.
Forte was the star player on North Tahoe’s team the last two years.
In his junior season Forte was voted as the Northern 3A’s most valuable player by coaches throughout the league, and was on track for a repeat performance until his injury.
During his junior and senior seasons, Forte averaged 19.5 points per game, eight rebounds, 2.75 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game. He also shot 70 percent from the free throw line the past two years.
And he’s not done on the basketball court.
Forte said he will have mixed feelings if he doesn’t make the team, and will most likely re-evaluate and look at other schools if he is overlooked by the Seawolves.
“I’m definitely not ready to give it up yet,” Forte said.
Hansen said Forte is well rounded and basketball is not a means to an end.
The senior currently has a 3.92 GPA and plans to major in business or physics at Sonoma State.
He ran cross country as well as played varsity baseball during his time at North Tahoe.
Forte said that his foot feels strong. With advice from his doctor, he elected to leave a screw in the foot through next season, but he has been cleared to play for four weeks now.
Even with the uncertainty of a collegiate-level tryout, Forte seems unfazed. He’s keeping busy with his senior project ” a kids basketball camp.
And while he has had some trouble making contact with the Seawolves coaching staff, he’s not too worried.
“I’m sure once I get there nerves will set in, but not now,” Forte said.
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