MOSES LAKE — Michael Byers went through every permutation of family, friends and coaches when it came to the photo op.
Everyone wanted a picture on that special day in the office of Moses Lake High School.
There, Byers put pen to paper and committed to play basketball for Clackamas Community College.
“I really appreciate all these people and I did not expect a lot of people to come,” he said. “I’m just signing a paper, but I’m really appreciative of it and I love them all.”
Byers garnered the interest of Clackamas after joining an AAU team ran by an assistant coach. It was a fortuitous link after Byers’ previous AAU team disbanded.
“He said next year I’d like you to come down and play and then I saw him at a basketball tournament this season and he invited me down,” Byers said. “I went down and played and then next week I signed.”
Byers worked his way up to full-time starter as a senior, however, he was sidelined for about a month due to a January injury and was unable to play in his final home game. Despite the lengthy absences, Byers was able to return to the lineup for Moses Lake’s final three games, including a 77-48 rout of Eisenhower in a district play-in game.
“He’s one of the hardest working kids that I’ve had in this high school,” Moses Lake head coach John Hohman said. “Can he get better? Yeah. And that’s what we talked about, Coach (Clif) Wegner and I, is that he’s got a huge upset, he really does. I don’t think he even has any idea of how good he can be.
“There’s parts of his game that he needs to fix and improve upon and when he does that watch out.”
Byers will join an experienced Clackamas team that graduated only two sophomores. The Cougars took fourth place in the NWAC South, but still managed an overall record of 20-9 and lost to eventual champion North Idaho in the first round of the NWAC Tournament.
“I just want to go down there, play in the NWAC Tournament and get an opportunity to win a ring,” Byers said.