Posted On: 02/22/19 12:12 AM

This season John Misel was just happy to be getting some playing time at O’Dea. But as the year went on for the all-around 6-foot-3, 165-pound guard, he became a key contributor. Through it all one college program had been watching Misel closely and he felt the love, recently making the decision to commit to attend and play college basketball at Puget Sound.

“They were the first people to offer me and they showed up to a lot of my games with O’Dea, summer league, and AAU,” Misel said. “I really like Coach Nelson and Coach Shelton and one of my best friends goes there, who’s a freshman. It’s just a good place and I wanted to go there.”

For some, the decision on which college to attend isn’t made until after the season. Misel felt no reason to wait as he knew Puget Sound was the right for him on so many levels.

“The school is nice as it’s in Tacoma and it’s a quick ferry ride over,” Misel said. “I want to be a lawyer and they have a really good law school there. My parents wanted me to go to a school where I can get a good education and that’s the most important thing to them and to me. So when they were recruiting me it wasn’t just about the basketball program but the school, what the environment was like and what majors they offered.”

On the hoops front, Misel liked the fit and opportunity as well. “I’m hoping that next year I can come in and make an immediate impact,” Misel said. “This year they made playoffs and hopefully I can help keep that going for the four years that I’m there and hopefully do some big things with their team.”

The chance to play high-level Division III basketball didn’t come by accident. Misel has been a key cog in O’Dea’s success this season and he takes it all in stride. “Last year I didn’t play too much so this year I was just happy to be playing and I ended up earning a starting spot,” Misel said. “So my mindset going in was that I know that Paolo (Banchero), Noah (Williams), and John Christofolis are going to be the guys so I just needed to go out there and contribute in any way that I can, whether it’s playing defense, getting buckets, or rebounding – whatever that is. And it’s turned out to be a good season for me individually.”

Misel knows that he still has things to work on to get ready for the college game, mainly working on his body but also his all-around game. There will be plenty of time for that though as there are still games left to be played for O’Dea – and a championship to pursue.

“I think we’re going to have to come together as a team,” Misel said. “We’re really talented and throughout the season we’ve had some really good games but also probalby some really not so good games. So right now I think as a team we need to come together and start playing more team-oriented basketball. The hopefully we can take it to the state championship.”

O’Dea faces Stanwood at Garfield HS on Saturday night in the first round of Regionals.