The story of Michigan basketball’s paintball trip that started its national title game run

SAN ANTONIO — Before Michigan became the hottest team in college basketball and rode a 14-game winning streak to a Big Ten tournament title and the national championship game against Villanova, the team’s captains gathered at the end of a grueling summer looking for a bonding exercise.

They decided on paintball.

The Wolverines drove 30 minutes northwest to Pinckney, Michigan. Hell Survivors was the complex and everyone in and around the program was involved.

The teams were split into two: Michigan players on one side, coaches, managers and staff on the other.

Michigan basketball spent “two or three hours” at the facility. There was extreme weather. There was a strength coach who put a star player in a chokehold. And there was one highly notable head shot.

This is the true story of what went down.

Brent Hibbitts, walk on: We did a bunch of different types of games. In the first one, the coaches and managers were up in a castle and we had to get into the castle to win.

Mohamed Ali Abdur Rahkam, senior shooting guard: We were playing Attack and Defend. We had to get in their base. It was a big course, so we spread out.

Jon Sanderson, strength coach: The players were coming up this

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