PLANO, Texas -- When Will Mfum left Columbus last summer, he dreamed that this day would come. A year into his journey at Spring Creek Academy in Texas, Mfum, a former standout at Northland High School, has made his college decision.
Committing to South Dakota State, Mfum spoke to 270 Hoops about the decision, what he expects to see when he becomes a member of the Jackrabbit program and how life has changed since he left home.
“South Dakota State is a place where I can trust myself to stay focused and not be distracted,” Mfum told 270 Hoops. “The coaches also trust that I will come in and work for whatever I deserve and at the end of the day, they want me to just be myself and play freely.”
Joining a SDSU program that made the NCAA Tournament five times since 2012, last appearing in 2018 in a first round loss to Ohio State, Mfum chose the Jackrabbits over North Dakota and Robert Morris.
The native son of Ghana, Mfum prides himself on being a leader and feels that will help him make an early impact in college.
“I want the best for everyone around me. Seeing others around me happy and striving to get better automatically gives me an extra boost,” Mfum said. “I am big on doing my part. I know I’m going to have to earn the team’s trust as they are going to earn mine. I feel like with my work ethic and the group of guys that are there, we can build something really special”
Leaving Columbus last summer, Mfum felt a change was needed in his life, a life that often times included danger in his north Linden neighborhood. Being away from home has been a welcomed change for the high-flying guard, as Mfum has been able to focus on what's most important without distraction.
“Making the right decisions has been my biggest area of growth,” Mfum said. “Being away from home was tough because I’m really big on family and those in my corner. I always want to make sure everyone is good, but being away was the best choice for me because it helped me grow as a young man and helped me make smarter decisions in life.”
After growing up in one of Columbus’ toughest neighborhoods, Mfum has enjoyed a change of scenery in Plano, Texas - a suburb just outside of Dallas.
“Life has been real chill here,” Mfum said. “I can go to any side of town without facing any problems with any group of people. I mean, everywhere has its own little tweak to it but I can’t really get in any trouble unless I really wanted to.
“Back at home, everything was just moving too fast. I didn’t really have time to think about anything. Every wrong decision I made outside of basketball in Columbus was what I thought was best for me and the people I associated with. There were a lot of risks taken and I’m just glad God gave me an opportunity to better myself.”
Mfum’s move to Texas has done just that for the 17-year-old, as he has grown both as a lead guard and student. Spring Creek Academy has given the former Northland star a different academic challenge, something he was looking for when he left home.
With college on the horizon at a program that has big plans with Mfum in the backcourt, the rising senior is ready to take the next step in a long journey that he dreamed about not too long ago.
“I want to make it to the big leagues so I’m going to put in every ounce of sweat and tears to make sure I do,” Mfum said. “My family and friends and even the friends that are not here today all know that I always give 100 percent in what I do. I stand for not only a community but the whole country of Ghana.”
Understanding that basketball is not forever, Mfum plans to major in business when he gets to college. While most young men dream of the allure of fame and money, Mfum just wants to help those closest to him.
“I’ll treat it the same way that I treat basketball, work hard and give it my all,” Mfum said. “The end goal is to make sure my family lives comfortably and that I can help one of my closest friends make it out of the dangerous life he’s living. We were together from a young age and went two different directions but I know it’ll be God’s work if I can help save him.”