‘If you’re gonna do something, do it to be the best’: A look into Michael Forrest

Lauderhill native Michael Forrest, a five-year starter, is the only senior on the team, having been with Coach Dusty May his entire tenure at FAU.


Nicholas Windfelder

Michael Forrest (center) going against a University of Alabama-Birmingham player.

Maddox Greenberg, Business Manager

In between seasons, he is in the gym early lifting weights and going to the court. He puts up shots, prepping his game like National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Damian Lillard and legend Allen Iverson. 

Senior guard Michael Forrest has been with the team for five years now and has made history becoming the record holder with 297 career three-pointers and counting. Forrest has played in 133 games, starting in 87 of them.

Forrest began his collegiate career after playing two years of varsity basketball at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, coached by Melvin Randall. 

“Every day he came prepared to work,” said Randall. “It was just like him punching in on a job. He came to work. He didn’t find any excuses to not work hard or to train hard in preparation for a game. He didn’t come in not prepared or lazy or really not putting in his full potential. So, he really worked and he didn’t find an excuse to not.”

In his first year at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Forrest started in 27 of 33 games. One of his biggest accolades during his freshman year was against Marshall University, where he scored a career-high 32 points. He also led the team in assists that year.

“My first year was a rollercoaster,” said Forrest. “Lots of ups, lots of downs. But just being able to mentally stay with it—keeping working hard and just knowing that one day, you’re going to be fine.”

In his second year, Forrest had another three-straight double-digit games against High Point University, University of Tampa, and Mercer University. He also started in eight of the 32 games. In his third year, he averaged 12 points per game. He also had a season-high 27 points against Florida International University. In his fourth year, he played and started in all 34 games, being the only Owl to do so that season. He led the team in three-pointers made, free-throw percentage, and joined the 1,000-minute club.

“I was pleased by my performance. Looking back at it, I always feel like I could do more just no matter what, that’s just how I am. I just feel like it was growth,” said Forrest.

Dusty May debuted as the head coach in the 2017-18 season. Forrest spent his entire career with May, and under him, FAU has not had a losing season. 

Forrest and the Owls aren’t listening to the noise surrounding them going into the NCAA Tournament, or “March Madness”, as the team is focused on the game ahead of them. 

“We’re just taking it one day at a time,” replied Forrest.

Forrest (#11) going in for a layup against Florida International. (Nicholas Windfelder)

March Madness is a 68-team single-elimination tournament starting in March that decides the national champion. FAU made their only appearance in 2002, where they had the 15-seed and lost 86-78 to 2-seed University of Alabama Crimson Tide.

Playing in March Madness is something many players dream of. However, Forrest’s top priority is to finish this season with his teammates and coaches, and win the conference championship in early March.

The Owls’ team and fanbase has meant everything to Forrest throughout the years.

“‘Defend Paradise’ just means nobody can come here and take something from us. This is our house. If you’re coming in and trying to take something, it’s going to be hard. We got a team of dawgs,” said Forrest.

He also cares a lot about his teammates, whom he will miss when he moves on to the next chapter of his basketball career.

“Just knowing that, I could be calling them for anything and they could call me for anything. It’s a lifelong thing, and that’s just something I am really going to miss,” Forrest said.

Over the years, his fellow and former Owls have felt the same way.

“There are so many words to describe him. I really can’t just pick one,” said former FAU teammate Jailyn Ingram, now playing at the University of Georgia. “He’s definitely what you look for in a teammate. He’s gonna lead by example.”

His former high school teammates had similar things to say.

“I would describe Michael Forrest as a determined person. A person that loves the game, that loves life, and wants to live life,” said Joshua Scott, former high school teammate and current player for Tusculum College Pioneers.

Most remembered Forrest over the years as being a very reserved, but determined basketball player who is a “leader,” and committed to his academics. 

Whether it is in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the NBA G-League, or any overseas professional basketball league, Forrest will “go out there and kill.” He will follow the mantra he has lived by: “If you are going to do something, do it to be the best.”

Editor’s note: This story is in the UP’s latest issue that can be found physically on the distribution boxes around campus or digitally through our Issuu page.

Maddox Greenberg is the Business Manager for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM via Facebook @maddox greenberg.