Back in the game, back in school

Eric Daft, Clarion staff

Mitchell Bohn is not the average college athlete. The 6-foot, 10-inch, 230-pound center from Muscoda, Wis., is currently a freshman for the WolfPack. The catch is that he’s a 29-year-old freshman.

Bohn attended Riverdale High School where he played basketball for just a single season before losing his eligibility due to academic performance. After high school, Bohn was unsure of his career plan. Understanding that he wasn’t ready for college, he entered the military. However, Bohn’s decision was not just out of confusion over his future.

“There’s a lot of benefits to joining the military — get to see part of the country, get to serve my country,” Bohn said. “It’s like a life long achievement.”

He was in active duty for two years, spending time stationed in Germany. During his tenure in the military he was given five awards for service to his country. Once he had finished his time in the military he explored work in construction for about nine years, but wanted to pursue a solid education. So, at the age of 29, he enrolled in classes at Madison Area Technical College.

“I was really nervous about coming this year because I didn’t really pay attention too much in high school. I didn’t do my homework. I was constantly in trouble, you know, detention for something. And this year I just decided to give every effort I could towards grades,” Bohn said.

Bohn’s difficulty in maintaining his eligibility and paying attention in the classroom has not carried over to his college education. During his first semester he acquired 15 credits with a 4.0 GPA while studying for a major in Recreational Management.

Playing against younger competition with more recent experience has not been a disadvantage to a 29-year-old veteran. He is athletic, near seven feet tall, and has an intensity that shows during practice while demonstrating a willingness to learn.

“Coach V has been, and is very patient and has dedicated extra time to helping me improve,” Bohn said.

Being the oldest player on the roster did worry Bohn when first trying out for the team. However, he soon realized that his age did not make a difference and compared the bond between his teammates to that of his fellow soldiers during his time in service.

“I was nervous at first. I was standoff-ish. But now I love each and every one of these guys,” Bohn said.

Mitch Bohn currently is working as a personal trainer while attending classes and playing basketball. He hopes to return next season.