OT: LaVell Blanchard update

Submitted by MGoCooper on June 10th, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Sorry to go off topic a little bit, but I out of the blue the other day started thinking whatever happened to LaVell Blanchard. So I went to the answer all of our questions, Google, and found my answer. He's currently making the rounds in Europe, and has been progressively climbing the ladder in terms of competitive leagues. I always like to keep track of former Michigan athletes, and I thought others might feel the same way. Go Blue!





June 10th, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

This hasn't been my experience.

He was there every time I played last summer (his hometown is Ann Arbor, apparently)  and was a total jackass.  I'm 6'3" and was a PG in high school, but was always left to guard the dude, who is like 6'7, jacked, and clearly in another universe athleticially, and I guess I got under his skin.  He talked a lot of shit, hard fouled me, refused to play in a game once when I wound up on his team, and tried to make me leave once after I beat him because "these are his courts".

 We were cool at first, and our issues stemmed from a time when I blocked a dunk attempt of his (only time that's ever happened for me) and another time when he thought I undercut him (when really he just tried to dunk over me when I wasn't looking).

Regardless, I wish him the best.


June 11th, 2011 at 6:29 PM ^

LaVell is always there having fun and passing first.  He's not looking to get into competitive games because he can't get hurt.  If someone pisses him off, he'll start playing.  Otherwise he's there to have fun and get a work out.

I've played with him dozens and dozens of times over the last 3 years and have seen nothing but a class act, unselfish guy.


December 17th, 2013 at 8:46 PM ^

I am 6ft 5in and about 245lbs.  We played at the IMSB not long ago.  Playing him in the post or guarding him at all is similar to watching Real Houswives ( alot of trash talking and alot of slapping). It got really heated the first game and the trash talking got out of hand. I decided to apologize and stop the nonsense and he refused to accept. The second and third game that we played he continued to talk down to me and was very rude even though he wasnt guarding me. 

If I wasnt a larger person it probably would not have happend, but man did he take some pent up aggression out on me. For someone that is that much better than the average IMSB player he should be more humble and learn to set a good example(contrary to the majority of people posting). I am not the only person that has experienced this. He was arguing with another big guy in the same way.  I know things can get out of hand when you get competitive but this was different. 

This is just one example that I have had with LaVell and may not be indicitive of his overall personality. But it seems that there is something going on here. 




June 10th, 2011 at 11:58 PM ^

I used to play pick up games at the CCRB years back, and I played about three in a row with him one day. The first two games he was a great teammate, setting people up, passing, rebounding, shooting the occasional three while wearing ankle weights. He made the game fun.
<br>Then someone pissed him off in the last game. I don't remember clearly what happened, but he went and dunked on the guy like three times in a row. With the ankle weights still on. It wasn't even funny. And it did clearly demonstrate the gap between DI and guy cut from his 9th grade basketball team.


June 10th, 2011 at 4:24 PM ^

I have a signed schedule poster from LaVell, and he was a nice guy when he signed it. I don't remember much about him playing, because I was young, but it was cool to be able to get something signed by a member of the team. Best of luck to him!!


June 10th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

I've known Lavell since he played little league baseball with my brother. He always been extremely intelligent and the epitome of U of M class. I'm kinda suprised he didn't end up going for his PhD after undergrad, but I'm happy to see he's doing well in Europe. Thanks for the update on his whereabouts.


June 10th, 2011 at 4:29 PM ^

Great player and person.  Very unfortunate that he was forced to play in the conditions he played in, but I will always have the utmost respect for his loyalty towards UofM hoops, and staying local.  He could have easily gone to MSU or some other "power" program, but he gutted it out at Michigan instead.  Wish we had him right now under Beilein.


June 10th, 2011 at 4:30 PM ^

Thought I'd chime in a bit....

A freind of mine is great freinds with LaVell.  He was back from Finland, I think, and we took in some UFC fights a few weeks ago. He seems to be doing quite well over there and is really a great guy. A true testament to the University of Michigan.


June 10th, 2011 at 4:35 PM ^

I played in a pickup game with him in the summer of 2000 in Ann Arbor. He was the best player  I have played with by far and I think throwing him an alley oop was the highlight of my summer..

Seeing how great he was in a pick up game made me feel that much worse when I had to watch him suffer through those awful seasons at UM.


June 10th, 2011 at 6:44 PM ^

Yeah, it's really humbling to play against D-1 athletes.  You know they're only going 50% and they're still schooling you.  Some of the football players used to hoop at the CCRB and while most of them couldn't shoot all that well, they were still very effective.


December 18th, 2013 at 12:30 AM ^

I love your post.  Want to know why?  Because you're like the first person in the last 100 I've heard use the word "humbling" correctly.  Just the other day I was listening to Steve Sarkisian say about 5 times how humbling it was to be offered the job as head coach of USC.  Joe Flacco said how humbling it was to win the Super Bowl, or recruits mentioning how humbled they are to get a scholarship offer from ______ university.  The reruits are high school kids so whatever, but it's amazing how many adults don't know the meaning of that word and use it wrong all the time.  It's not even a big word or anything.

Tangent, I know.  But thank God at least someone still knows what that word means.  

Bloggy Style

June 10th, 2011 at 4:39 PM ^

Good to hear.  LaVell roomed directly across the hall from me freshman year in West Quad (Along with Jamall Crawford).  He was always a really nice guy.  Glad he's doing well.


June 10th, 2011 at 4:42 PM ^

He was the first student athlete I met at Michigan, and it was a pretty awesome experience.  I would see him at the Union from time to time.  Stand up guy,and super super nice.


June 10th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

for the summer playing pick up basketball at around 4 pm.  I know because I've played with and against him in pick up games for the past two summers.  Doesn't try hard and let other people score which is cool.  If his team needs to score the final point, he'll just try hard and just dunk.


June 11th, 2011 at 6:32 PM ^

Yeah, played against him once, it was a lot of fun.  He's definitely just the tall guy out there and doesn't dominate like some of the seasoned sand vballers, but he's tall and athletic enough to get the job done.


June 10th, 2011 at 5:03 PM ^

He was a great athlete and student.  It's a shame he had to play with a bunch of complete idiot teammates (Kevin Gaines, Avery Queen, Josh Moore) and for an awful coach.  He deserved better.

Victor Valiant

December 17th, 2013 at 9:47 PM ^

It's good to hear Blanchard is doing good. He was my first "favorite" player at Michigan after I got to an age that I could really appreciate college basketball. I was 14 when he started playing at Michigan and remember vividly that it was him who sort of turned on the light buib for me as far as actively following Michigan basketball. 

Edit: Also, I could care less if he talks some trash playing pick-up games. Most of the great guys I know that play pick-up games have had more than one game where they got a little to angry and aggressive and should have reigned it in.


December 18th, 2013 at 12:29 AM ^

LaVell Blanchard will always be one of my favorite UM basketball players for two reasons.  First, because he was the best play on the otherwise crummy teams when I was in college, and I remember watching him and Bernard Robinson go about .500 or so, and secondly, because I did Dance Marathon in undergrad and at like 4am when it really sucked he showed up (all by himself) to come and support everyone.  Anyone who wasn't a LaVell fan before that was by the end - he made a lot of fans that night/morning.