Mike Glover Finds Gold in Papua, Indonesia
by Warren Rosenberg, MetroSports Magazine - August 13, 2022
Born and raised in the New York City borough of the Bronx, Mike Glover learned and polished his basketball skills on the outdoor asphalt courts of the City, places with famous names like Dykman, Rucker, and West 4th Street, and on the indoor hardwood courts of the New York City public schools. Making his way to the NCAA Division I basketball program at Iona University, his play was so dominating that he was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s All-Conference First Team and took on the name, Optimus Prime.
Above: Mike Glover during his college playing days with Iona. Photo credit: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com
So compelling was his play on the court, and the story of the challenges he’d overcome, that he was featured in an article in the New York Times in 2012. While he was selected to workout with the New York Knicks he was, like so many talented college players, not recruited in the NBA draft and therefore sought his future in the overseas professional leagues. He has played professionally with teams in Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, the Philippines, and Indonesia. While in Canada, Mike was voted as the country’s Sixth Man of the Year being the best performing player off of the bench.
More recently, Mike has found his ideal spot with the Indonesian Basketball League’s NHS Mountain Gold Timika where he plays as a highly regarded member of the team. Mike told MetroSports Magazine that, “My agent got me the position in Indonesia. Indonesia’s a very interesting country, I love playing in Asia, everyone is just so nice, they’re excited about the sport of basketball and our job is to give the fans a show. I recommend anyone who hasn’t been there to go to Indonesia.” In 2020 he was named as the league’s Foreign Player of the Year.
Above: Photo credit: NSH Mountain Gold Timika
As the NHS Mountain Gold Timika enters the Indonesian Basketball League’s (IBL) 2022 Playoff Tournament taking place from August 13-30th, Mike’s return to help the team was greeted with great enthusiasm. He had not participated with the team during the regular season in 2022. The Aurora News reported that “Good news comes from NHS Mountain Gold Timika. In preparation for the 2022 IBL Playoffs, NSH received a boost from the arrival of Mike Glover.” They went on to report that, “the presence of Mike Glover really had an impact on NSH, because they immediately won against Prawira Bandung in the last 'tune-up' match on Friday, July 29th. Prior to Glover's arrival, a week ago, NSH suffered three consecutive defeats from Dewa United Surabaya (44-86), Amartha Hangtuah (62-69), and RANS PIK Basketball (65-80).”
At a July 18th press conference, NSH Mountain Gold Timika President Director, Cessar Avianto Tunya noted that the arrival of Mike Glover was an additional ammunition for the team to fight to achieve maximum results in the playoffs later. NMG Timika Assistant Coach, Antonius Joko added, the presence of Mike Glover can increase the variety of offense and defense for the team by contributing points in the paint area.
Above: Photo credit: NSH Mountain Gold Timika
Personally, Mike is the father of a 13 year old son who, at 5’7” is developing into a powerful presence on the basketball court, following in his father’s footsteps. As he reflects back on his career and on the future for his son, Mike told us that, “My most memorable moments as a pro were to be in the countries I’ve played in. I’ve played in 15 countries. I hope for my son to follow the road to greatness. I want him to be better than me. He’s 13 years old now, he just completed 7th grade, he’s a very tall guy. It’s genetics, my mom being the shortest in the family and she’s 5’9. I just want the best for him. I’s always going to be behind him. He’s been playing this game of basketball since he was 2 years old, so I definitely see him playing at the highest level of basketball.”
On a more personal note, Mike Glover is a true humanitarian who wants to use his knowledge and experiences to better the lives of the youth in the communities that nurtured him. “Too many kids don’t grow up in a two parent household. I was fortunate enough to have both parents who were married for over 35 years”, Mike noted. I’m in the community a lot, I definitely visit my high school once a year, James Monroe campus in the Bronx. My basketball coach, Nigel Thompson, who also teaches there, I go by to talk to the kids, let them get to know me because I used to be where they’re sitting, to let them know to follow their dreams, to never give up, don’t ever give up – there’s always hope for everybody in the world.” It’s no small coincidence that Mike cited the words, “never give up, don’t ever give up” for, as a product of the basketball program at Iona University, those are the exact words of Iona’s legendary former basketball coach, Jim Valvano.
As further insight into just how impressive a man Mike Glover is, and how strongly he regards family and parental guidance, Mike’s response to our question, what was your most memorable college basketball experience, was the following. “My most memorable moment playing college was December 3rd, 2011, my late mom who just transitioned about 3 yrs ago was there on her birthday, it was my first college game that she ever attended, it was a home game and I believe we played Canisius and I had a monster game. Before the game started I gave her 2 dozen roses, and I believe I had 41 points that game. Having my mom there watching her youngest son put on a major performance on her birthday was one of my most memorable moments in college.”
In closing, we asked Mike to comment on his impressive performance in Iona’s game against Syracuse and going head to head against the late Fab Melo and on his plans for the future. “Fab Melo, was a great friend of mine, and unfortunately he passed away in 2017. That game against Syracuse was one of my best games playing at Iona because Syracuse was my dream school. Fab was also a great guy off the court as well. I had the opportunity to hang out with him off the court and he was a very, very great soul. He was a great competitor on the court. Fab – we all miss you and wish you were still here. A player like myself continues to play in your name. He was all about greatness and toughness.”
“I see my future is to continue to make history in basketball and build my legacy and, hopefully, have my son, Mike Jr., become a better basketball player on and off the court as I definitely see the potential in him. I am currently engaged to my fiancé Iyesata Marsh - she’s the love of my life. I want to continue to make a difference in my community, on and off the court as well.”