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MIKE HOUSMAN: UMBC'S "IRON MAN"
He may keep getting knocked down, but UMBC junior forward Mike Housman will not stay down.
Through (17 games, Housman has averaged a solid 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.) He entered the starting lineup in the fifth game of the season against
Housman’s run of tough luck began on Aug. 30, one day before classes began at UMBC. He was preparing to see a Blink-182 concert that evening when he was horsing around with some teammates during open gym time at the RAC. He drove baseline, leaped, but landed awkwardly on his ankle and suffered a severe sprain. The native of
Housman worked feverishly every day and was able to participate in most of the drills as the team began practice in mid-October. But the injury bug kept biting. In his first contact drill, “War on the Boards,” a teammate came down on the top of Housman’s head, drawing plenty of blood and leaving him a bit dazed. Since the start of the season, Housman has suffered a chest injury when taking one of his numerous charges, he took other staggering body blows in back-to-back games against Navy and
But he has answered the bell all 17 times to date.
“Some days [I hurt] more than others,” the information systems major said. “When the weather is bad, my ankle throbs and sometimes even walking bothers me. It is a constant cycle that I can’t get out of. The only way I am going to get better is when that final horn blows at the end of season and I’ll be able to rest it.”
A typical day for Housman begins when he reports to the training room at , dressed and ready for a practice. He gets in a warm whirlpool, before doing muscle stimulation, getting ice treatments and doing balancing exercises to build strength. His ankles are then taped and he hits the floor. After practice, Housman ices down for 25 minutes. After a “relaxing” hour or two, he repeats the same routine for an afternoon shoot-around practice.
“It’s not like I don’t have a lot of free time, but I definitely spend a lot of time in the training room that I wish I didn’t have to,” Housman said.
Most fans would never know the ordeal that Housman deals with because it has not affected his play. He still takes two or three charges every game, scrapes himself off the floor a half dozen times or so and bangs bodies with players with more height and mass than the 6-foot-6-inch, 225-pound “center.”
“I am not the kind of player to change the way I play depending on how my body is feeling,” Housman said. “This is the only way I know how to play – playing hard and taking charges. I play as much as I do because I do the things that the coaches like. Unfortunately, I get banged up doing those kinds of things.”
Director of Sports Medicine Cindy Kubiet has treated thousands of UMBC athletes in her 28 years. Yet she still cringes when she sees Housman take charge after charge and get undercut on a frequent basis.
“I know what he has done to put himself out there,” Kubiet said. “From the first day he got back, he outperformed some of the freshmen in agility drills. Mike is willing to go on; not everybody would be that tough. He has had a good attitude from the minute he got hurt.”
A perfect example of a battle won by Housman occurred in UMBC’s 65-64 overtime win over
Of course, the humble Housman was quick to point out that
“I’ve always been a bit smaller than the big guys I’ve been playing [against],” he said. “I learned to play against a bigger man. If coach asks me to do something, I have to be able to perform. If I want to play, I’ve got to be able to do it.”
Despite all of the physical ailments, Housman has performed at an extremely high level. He leads the America East Conference in field goal percentage, having made 60 of 96 attempts from the floor (62.5%) this season. He has been perfect in a pair of games, hitting all eight shots from the floor in a win over
“Mike Housman is our iron man,” said head coach Randy Monroe. “He does not shy away from any challenge, plays hard all the time and plays with a great deal of pride. There is no one else that I would rather have taking all the tough assignments than Michael.”
“I have always given my body up for the team ever since high school,” said Housman. “It isn’t too much of a change, although I have never been banged up like this before. But I can deal with it. I have to suck it up and play through the pain.”