Michael was an All-American basketball player at U.C.L.A. in the 1960's. He played for legendary coach John Wooden and became a member of the school's hall-of-fame. Michael was a team captain and 2-time nation champion. He played alongside many future NBA stars such as Lew Alcindor (now Kareem-Abdul Jabbar), Lynn Shackelford and Lucius Allen. He majored in television, radio and film while at U.C.L.A but chose a career in acting over the NBA.