Spike Albrecht announces end of Michigan career

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan senior point guard Spike Albrecht is done playing basketball at the University of Michigan.

Albrecht will always be remembered for his hot shooting performance in the National Championship game, but his junior season shouldn’t soon be forgotten. With Michigan’s roster decimated by injury, Albrecht stepped up and led the Wolverines despite nursing hip injuries. After undergoing two hip surgeries this offseason, the injuries were just too much to deal with for the Wolverines’ 5-foot-11 point guard.

Here’s the full University of Michigan release.

University of Michigan men’s basketball senior guard Spike Albrecht announced today (Friday, Dec. 11) he has elected to step away from the court for the remainder of the season. He will concentrate on his continued recovery and the rehabilitation process following bilateral hip surgery this past summer.

“This has been the toughest decision I have ever had to make. After taking a hard look at what is best for me, and this team, I will be stepping away from the game that has meant so much to me.”

“This has been the toughest decision I have ever had to make,” said Albrecht. “After taking a hard look at what is best for me, and this team, I will be stepping away from the game that has meant so much to me.

“I am so thankful for what Coach Beilein, the assistants and the medical staff have done for me during my career and in particular over the last year while I was dealing with this injury. I just have a little more to go and I really need to take the proper time to finish my rehab.

“The University of Michigan has provided me and my family so much, I don’t really even have the words to express my gratitude. This place is truly special and I hope I was able to leave just a little bit of a mark during my career. I cannot thank Wolverine nation enough for all the love and support they have shown me throughout my four years here. Forever and always — Go Blue!”

“This has been an agonizing decision for Spike, especially at this juncture of the season,” said U-M head coach John Beilein. “He has done so much to get back to this point, but his long-term health is what is most important now and in the future. We want only the best for Spike.

“He is a tremendous young man, who has had a very special career. His important role in our 2013 NCAA Tournament run and his incredible performance in the national title game were straight out of a storybook. His sophomore year we would not have won the Big Ten title or made a second straight trip in the Elite Eight without him.

“He has proven time and time again what heart and determination can do. Even last year, he played through so much pain, but held the team together and guided us through tough times.”

“He has proven time and time again what heart and determination can do. Even last year, he played through so much pain, but held the team together and guided us through tough times.”

Albrecht played in 115 career games for the Wolverines. A two-time team captain, he was named Michigan’s co-MVP last season after starting 18 of 31 games and posting a career-best 7.5 points per game.

As a freshman, he played in all 39 games and helped U-M reach the Final Four for the first time in 20 years as well as tie the school record for wins (31). It was his 17-point performance in the national title game against Louisville that will see him remembered for years to come.

Albrecht guided U-M to a second straight Elite Eight appearance as a sophomore as the Wolverines lost on a last second-shot to Kentucky to miss a second straight Final Four. That same season, he played in all 37 games and helped the Maize and Blue to its first outright Big Ten title in 28 years.

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  • gobluemd16

    Very sad news. Hoping he can rehab and make a full recovery. Thank you so much for all of the memories, Spike. You were an absolute pleasure and joy to watch in a Michigan uniform. Go Blue!

  • JJ3ball

    Very sad.
    I know there is a numbers crunch but I’m surprised there’s no talk of a medical RS

    • Nick

      They are already in the red for scholarships next year

  • A lot of memories in this story from Joe the Sunday before the title game.


    • jakelam2116

      Love this story. Good stuff.

    • A2MIKE

      Great story!!! It was so prophetic as well. Get well Spike!!!

      • I’ll always remember sitting on press row as he hit three after three and the web server slowly crashed as everyone Googled it.

  • Chezaroo

    Thanks for the memories young man, you were an inspiration to all. Get well soon.

  • Sunny 42

    He has always been my favorite player, he left everything he had on the court while playing, from a guy who wasn’t hardly being recruited to playing such a major part in our success the last few years. This guy had heart and I hope some of our players now playing get this, you leave the court laying everything you have for this great university, we will miss you Spike!!!!!!!

  • Mike Pavlis

    Dylan would it be possible for spike to apply for a medical redshirt and play next year? Would there even be a scholarship for him given how many 2016 recruits have already signed with michigan?

    • jemblue

      I’m sure he’d be eligible – we haven’t passed the 30% of the season threshold. I guess it’s just a question of whether he/Beilein want to do it, and apparently they’ve decided to call it a day.

  • Mattski

    Wow. This hurts. Love that guy.

  • bobohle

    I am just stunned. Spike was my favorite player to watch on this team. If he says he can’t play then he can’t play. His health is far more important. Get well soon Spike! We’ll always remember the no look passes and diving for loose balls and that memorable first half against Louisville in the Championship Game.

  • jakerblue

    he will be missed, watching him play was so enjoyable. for him to shut it down, it must really be needed, if they is anyone that would try to grit it out it would be Spike. Good luck to him!

  • Slim33

    What an amazing journey Spike has had at his time at Michigan. The guy has got some serious heart. Best of luck to him in the future but he won’t need it.

  • Champswest

    Shocked. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
    Spike will be missed by this team more than most people know.
    I wish him a speedy and complete recovery. Many thanks for all that he had done for Michigan basketball.

  • Chazer

    A very sad day but many thanks to the ultimate student athlete! I will never forget the performance in the finals where you dominated the show in the first half! Good luck and thanks for the memories.

  • polisci

    I know the championship game was amazing, but Spike’s true masterpiece
    was last year. Our team was in shambles, but by the end of the year we were a
    pretty decent team and Spike was the number one reason why. Best of luck to him! He will be missed!

  • Corperryale

    Sucks to hear. Didn’t realize he was in such pain. Can’t he at least stay on the team as part of the bench mob? It’s not like anybody’s going to take his place! Respect, Spike.

    He doesn’t just deserve a spirit award, he was also a great all-around basketball player. I say that as someone who never really got the Novak/Douglass hype — Spike was/is an ELITE passer with deep range and a rare talent for creative, precision playmaking.

  • rlcBlue

    Aww hell. How disappointing for Spike and for the team. I hope he makes a full recovery and is pain free soon and for a long time after.

  • MAZS

    So sad. I was a little slow to warm to Spike. Limited defense and just seemed to dribble without purpose. That’s because Spike didn’t fit into one of the basketball boxes I was used to seeing. He had a purpose. He knew what he was doing. And his defense was never as bad as it seemed like it was going to be.

    Spike gave us plenty of memories his first two years. But last year–particularly MSU (away) and OSU (home)–Spike turned a potentially awful season into a pretty entertaining one.

  • GTFOmycourt

    When I am having a bad day I watch Spike’s highlights of the first half of the championship game. It always puts me in a better mood. I have watched those highlights more than I would like to admit. I am going to miss watching Spike play, big time! He was my favorite player to watch. Spike has been an inspiration to a lot of people. I know my son really admires him and I am glad he was able to meet Spike while he was still in a Michigan jersey. I hope he gets healthy again and soon!

    • Chazer

      That’s awesome, I’ve done the same thing! Perhaps one of my greatest moments as a sports fan, always reminds me of Hoosiers. He could sure play ball!

  • umnyc

    One of the most beloved wolverines since Zack Novak, he will definitely be missed. Would he have been eligible for a medical redshirt this year?

  • Rich74

    Best of luck to you Spike. I just finished telling my 11 year old grandson that you had to retire. You are one of the reasons that he turned from a Spartan fan into a Wolverine fan. We often would discuss your exhibition of effort and heart on the court. You are truly a role model to him. Thank you.