KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan men’s tennis head coach Dave Morin is proud to announce the signing of Mike Basha (Fort Gratiot, Mich./Port Huron Northern) and Thomas Calderone (Grass Lake, Mich./Jackson Lumen Christi) to National Letters of Intent during the NCAA Early Signing Period. Both players will have four years of eligibilty beginning with the 2009-10 season.
“I think both of these guys are very similar and really fill some needs for our program,” Morin said. “Both are great athletes that move well and they both have weapons with big forehands and big serves. I like their upside and I think they can move high in the lineup with a couple years in our system. I’m also really excited to welcome Mike and Thomas because they are not just great tennis players, but they are also outstanding students, which is really important to us.”
Basha is one of the top players in the state of Michigan as he advanced to the state finals at No. 1 singles for Port Huron Northern each of the last three seasons. During his senior year, he went 32-6 and reached the state semifinals before losing to the eventual state champion in three sets. Basha reached the state quarters as a junior and round of 16 as a sophomore. He led his team to a pair of second place finishes as a junior and senior and fifth place in the state as a sophomore. A three-time Port Huron Times Herald Player of the Year, he was First Team Division 1 All-State this season and is currently ranked as the No. 4 senior in Michigan by TennisRecruiting.net. A three-star prospect coached by former Western Michigan standout Steve Pillon, Basha has compiled a 43-29 record in junior competition. Basha was all-state and was nominated as the Division 1 finalist for 2008 Michigan Mr. Tennis.
Calderone, the younger brother of current Bronco Michael Calderone, was the 2008 Jackson Citizen Patriot Player of the Year after leading Jackson Lumen Christi to a third-place finish in the Division 4 State Finals. He went 24-4 on the season and advanced to the state quarters at No. 1 singles on his way to all-state honors. Calderone also reached the state quarters at No. 1 singles as a junior as JLC finished seventh in the state.