MHERST, Mass. - Forward Dante Milligan (New York, N.Y.) has joined the UMass men's basketball team as a transfer from the University of Pittsburgh. Milligan has enrolled at UMass but will not be eligible to play in a game for the Minutemen until the conclusion of the Fall 2005 semester. He will begin practicing with Steve Lappas' team this season once he recovers from a recent thumb injury.
"We are very excited to have Dante as a member of our program," said Lappas, who has guided the Minutemen to a 10-7 start this season. "He was a top-100 recruit coming out of high school and we are looking forward to getting him back on the basketball court, with our team at UMass."
Milligan is a 2003 graduate of Trinity-Pawling High School in Pawling, N.Y. where he lettered two seasons for Head Coach Bill Casson. He was selected to the All-New England team, All-Founders Conference and Tri-State All League. He was named McDonalds All America honorable mention as a senior.
Milligan scored 16 points and averaged 8.7 rebounds per game after leading Trinity-Pawling to a 24-3 record along with Founders League and Tri-State League titles as a senior. He averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game in leading Pawling to a 21-3 record as a junior. He played at the Episcopal School in Alexandria, Va. as a sophomore.
Milligan was ranked No. 28 among HoopScoop national recruits, among Athlon Sports' top-20 senior small forwards (No. 18) and among nation's top-100 recruits. He was listed No. 100 on The Sporting News/Rivals.com top-100 recruits list
He played in the Wendy's Big Apple Game in Chicago, in the Pittsburgh Hoops Classic held in the Petersen Events Center. He also played for the nationally renowned Long Island Panthers AAU squad coached by Gary Charles. He also attended the adidas ABCD camp, Three Stripes Tournament and Las Vegas Big Time Tournament.
He also competed in track and field and cross country in high school. Dante A. Milligan was born on February 15, 1984 in New York, N.Y. and is the son of Ruby Milligan and has a brother, Alonzo (17).
s the Massachusetts men's basketball team went through its warm-up routine on Saturday afternoon, before it fell 67-63 to Atlantic 10 rival Richmond, there was an extra person on the bench in street clothes and a bandaged hand.
His name is Dante Milligan, a transfer swing-forward from the University of Pittsburg and the first new player to commit to the Minutemen for the 2005-'06 season.
Milligan stands at 6-foot-8 and weighs in at 200 pounds, yet his size is a bit deceiving. Milligan is a shooter and is poised to add a sizable small forward to an already forward-laden UMass squad. However, due to NCAA rules, Milligan can not play for the Minutemen until the end of the 2005 fall semester.
While at Pittsburg, Milligan has seen limited time and actually redshirted his freshman year, but traveled with the Panthers during their Sweet 16 run. This season, Milligan has been plagued with an injured thumb and has only played in five games. Over those contests, he has averaged 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in a combined 23 minutes of play. The last time he played for the Panthers was on Dec. 18, in a 73-42 route of Coppin State.
Milligan was a highly touted recruit out of Trinity-Pawling High School in Pawling, N.Y. Coming out of high school Milligan was ranked as a top-100 recruit. He was ranked No. 28 by HoopScoop, a recruiting journal and was listed at No. 100 by The Sporting News/Rivals.com website. He was also listed as a three-star (out of five) recruit by this same site.
"We are very excited to have Dante as a member of our program," Lappas said to UMass media relations. "He was a top-100 recruit coming out of high school and we are looking forward to getting him back on the basketball court with our team at UMass."
Milligan earned two varsity basketball letters from Trinity-Pawling and put together two solid seasons. As a junior he averaged 17 points per game (ppg) and 10 rebounds per game. His stats took a bit of a dip his senior year, but his 16 ppg and seven boards per game were still good enough to lead his team to a Founders League and a Tri-State League title.
After his senior season Milligan earned several accolades including: being named All-New England, All-Founders League, and Tri-state All League. He was also an honorable mention for the 2003 McDonald's All-American team.
Milligan also has experience outside the high school realm as he was a member of the Long Island Panthers AAU team. The Panthers, led by head coach Gary Charles, are one of the premiere AAU squads in the nation. He won the Las Vegas Big Time tournament in 2001 with the Panthers.
He garnered more tournament experience before college as he played in the Wendy's Big Apple Game in Chicago and the Pittsburg Hoops Classic. He also attended the Adidas ABCD camp and participated in the Three Stripes Tournament.
Pittsburg media relations mentioned that Milligan also was a camp counselor at the New York Knicks basketball camp.
Not to be confused as a one-dimensional athlete, Milligan also lettered in track and field and cross country in high school.