Where Are They Now: St. Ignace’s Steve MacDonald
ST. IGNACE – Before Steve MacDonald was a neurologist at one of the nation’s top medical centers, the Cleveland Clinic, he was a Division 2 basketball player for Lake Superior State.
Before that, he was a multi-sport star at St. Ignace in football, basketball and track and field.
MacDonald especially excelled on the basketball floor, graduating as the school’s all-time leading scorer. MacDonald was named to the All-U.P. Dream Team three times and shot 51 percent from three his senior season.
He chose to attend Lake Superior State University, where he was the starting point guard for three of his four years. Looking back on his athletic life, MacDonald said his only regrets come from the way he approached the game in college.
“I played more worrying that I would make a mistake and then I would have to go sit on the bench or something” MacDonald recalls. “Which is no way to be successful for anyone who plays. If you’re playing like that with the intention of not making a mistake, you’re not going to add much to the equation.”
Still, MacDonald averaged 5.3 points per game in college and shot 33.8 percent from three. After graduation, he returned home to spend time with his grandfather, who was battling Alzheimer’s.
“At that time my grandpa was receiving most of his care from my grandma,” MacDonald said. “So I kind of made the decision at that time that I was going to put my plan for law school on hold and I was going to come home with the purpose of helping out a little bit.”
MacDonald said it was that time with his grandfather that gave him the passion to go pack to school and pursue a medical degree at Michigan State.
After his time at MSU, MacDonald completed a residency program at the Cleveland Clinic and, subsequently, a fellowship. He continues to work at the Cleveland Clinic as a cognitive neurologist.
“I think what a lot of people will find is that in just about everything you do you are part of a team. And that’s true in what I do now,” MacDonald said. “Playing sports taught me a lot of things but being a teammate is a big one.”