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Former Michigan star Stauskas throws first pitch

DETROIT -- Former University of Michigan basketball standout Nik Stauskas, the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year, threw out one of three ceremonial first pitches Monday evening.

Stauskas, who announced last month his decision to enter June's NBA Draft, hurled a strike through the chilly air.

"I got, like, eight practice pitches," Stauskas said afterward. "That's all I needed."

Joining the second-team All-American swingman on the mound to throw first pitches were Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin and Olympic speed skater Kelly Gunther.

Stauskas said he played baseball for fun growing up in Mississauga, Ontario, which is considered part of Greater Toronto. He added that he went to a few Blue Jays games as a kid, but he's always been devoted to basketball.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he saw Stauskas play at a Michigan-Michigan State basketball game this season -- though he was a guest of the Spartans.

"But I wasn't picking sides," Ausmus said. "I was just looking for a good game."

Stauskas is the second former Michigan basketball player to throw out a first pitch this season. Jordan Morgan tossed one during the last homestand.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for
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