With the cost of tuition and room and board hovering around $45,000 a year at Santa Clara University, Michael Santos (Cardinal Newman, ’07) knew he probably couldn’t afford to be a walk-on on the basketball team beyond his freshman year.

In fact, Santos began pondering spending next season at Santa Rosa Junior College following a freshman year at Santa Clara which included 32 minutes of playing time.

But then three teammates transferred following the Broncos’ 15-16 season, including former Montgomery and SRJC star Zac Tiedeman. Santos then performed well during spring workouts. And then second-year Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating offered Santos, a 6-foot-5 small forward, a full athletic scholarship.

Problem solved.

“I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do for the upcoming year,” said Santos, who led Newman to the Division IV state finals as a senior. “But I kept working hard and it worked out.”

Santos’ next mission? Adding bulk to his 190-pound frame, which is light by Division I standards. He is returning to Santa Clara on Thursday and will spend much of his summer working with the Broncos’ strength and conditioning coach. In addition, he will continue gulping down a new staple of his diet: protein shakes.

“I’ve put on 10 pounds since I’ve been here,” Santos said. “But I need to put on 10 more.”