Michaels, who led the Lady Wildcats with 166 rebounds and routinely drew the team's toughest defensive assignments last season, joins other recent signees Katia Roberts, a guard out of Newnan, Shay Romick, a post player from Lithia Springs, Victoria Conner, a point guard who hails from Paulding County, and Tyresha Jamerson, a post player out of Hiram.
Michaels signed to play with the Golden Knights, a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association, at a ceremony Tuesday at Woodland.
Marco Mason, assistant coach at West Georgia, said Michaels could contribute immediately and at several positions. "She showed very good athleticism. We could see her playing the [No.] 3 or 4 spot or maybe even the 2 with her shot and her speed. She should be an asset to us. She can handle the ball and put pressure on the defense. She seems like a very smart player."
He said the school's coaching staff is hopeful of being very competitive soon. "We're getting our program off the ground and we're trying to bring in some good recruits. We have 13 girls right now."
The school program is in its third year but the coaching staff, headed by Kenny Edwards, is in its first. The Golden Knights include such teams as Gadsden State (in Alabama), Darton, South Georgia Tech, Middle Georgia Tech and South Crescent Tech on their schedule.
Mason said the team aims to give its players a boost toward playing at a four-year college as well as pursuing their academic goals at the next level, too. "We will try to get them in the right classes in their core and help them move along to a university to make sure they can further their education."
Michaels said she learned of the workout from Woodland coach Colman Roberts and liked the coaching staff at West Georgia. "I liked how good a coach Edwards was. He's a Christian man and wanted good character kids, and he knows a lot about basketball." Michaels said there were about 25 girls at the workout, one of several the school has hosted this spring.
"It was very different from high school," she said. "I'll be out of my element. I won't be near any family or anything. It'll be a big growing-up experience for me."
The Woodland star said she also will be taking core courses to help her to eventually obtain a four-year college degree.
"I would like to become a high school biology teacher and be a coach also," she said. "I hope to transfer to a bigger college, West Georgia, Kennesaw, somewhere like that. I'll try to the best of my ability after two years to go to a bigger college for basketball. That's my goal. If not, I'll get my education and get into the world."
She said attending West Georgia lets basketball help pay for her schooling. "I thought it would always have some part in it because I love the sport and didn't want to ever give it up.
"My mom was a high school All American, and I grew up with her telling me all her high school stories. It made me really interested, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps."
Her mother attended Etowah High School in Cherokee County.
The Lady Wildcat also cited her middle school basketball coach as an inspiration. "When I got into South Central Middle School, coach Beth Payton really helped me with my game and inspired me to become a biology teacher and a coach."
Michaels played basketball four years at Woodland High under coach Roberts.
"She's a great kid and comes from a great family and she is just a hard worker," Roberts said.
He said Michaels' priorities have always been on learning the sport. "She was always there and never missed [a practice]. She always wanted to do whatever it took to be her best."
The coach said she also was a battler. "She was always getting after it, always getting on the floor. I spent a lot of time going out to get her, picking her up. She was all over the floor."
Roberts said her contributions were not confined to a highlight sheet. "She does a lot of things that are not in the stats."
That included defensive work.
"Something she had to do every night was guard their biggest and best post player," Roberts said. "In our region, you're talking about 6-foot, 2-inch and 6-foot, 3-inch kids. That's not in the stats. She had a lot of pressure on her from me."
He said she was a vocal leader for the Lady Wildcats.
"She wanted what was best for our team. She was a team player," he added.
Roberts believes Michaels' best playing years are ahead. "I think they will be very happy with the choice they made. I think she'll only get better as time goes by. She'll do whatever it takes to compete for playing time."
She scored 97 points last season, took a team high 14 charges while blocking 10 shots.
She also was a starter on the Lady Cats fastpitch softball team. She hit .275 with 13 RBI's during her senior season and was honorable mention in Bartow County in both basketball and softball.