Mike Bradley's basketball career has gone from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Storrs, Conn., to Bowling Green. There's a chance the latter is just a temporary stop along the road to simply finding some playing time.
Bradley, a 6-foot-10-inch forward, is enrolled at Western Kentucky and working with the Hilltoppers' basketball team. His immediate future, however, hangs in the balance as the transfer waits for the NCAA to rule on his eligibility.
"I figure, most people will tell me, 'Mike, you might not be able to play next year and that's a big thing,'" he said. "I think everything is a gamble anyway, wherever you are. It just depends on where you want to roll your dice. I can come here this year — worst-case scenario I don't play, that's a really, really bad case — but I'll still be able to invest in a place I want to be."
The possibility of Bradley being unable to play the 2012-13 season is something he and the WKU coaching staff are well aware of.
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Bradley, who will turn 20 in a week, left Connecticut in May after two seasons and not a single minute of game action.
With a cancer-stricken grandmother back home in Chattanooga, Bradley decided a change of scenery closer to his ailing kin would be best.
"I probably started thinking about it in, I'd say, around December," he said. "Things with my grandma were worse than I thought. It started getting worse and worse. I found out, but I didn't know how serious it was until I started seeing pictures."
There are 195 miles between Bowling Green and Chattanooga, or about a three-hour car ride. Western Kentucky and Bradley hope the proximity between the locales is enough for the NCAA to grant Bradley a hardship waiver based on the argument that the forward will be able to visit his grandmother.
Meanwhile, Bradley and the Hilltoppers wait.
"We do not know," WKU Coach Ray Harper said. "I think it's important that he does play. He hasn't played in two years. He has at least three, and maybe, we think, by the time it's all said and done, he could have four years of eligibility."
At Tyner Academy in Chattanooga, Bradley averaged 5.9 ppg., 6.5 rpg. and three blocked shots — in 2009-10. At UConn, he redshirted as a freshman before giving up his scholarship so the Huskies could sign Andre Drummond.