Archive for the ‘Citybeat’ Category

Citybeat: A whole new type of coaching pressure

Posted: December 27, 2011 by Jared Field in Citybeat

I know the first column of the new basketball season is normally a city basketball season preview and I will get to that, but right now there is so much more weighing heavier on my mind.

Coaching….yes, coaching.

I am not talking “new” city coaches Lamont Torbert (NW) and Garner Pleasant (Northern). Nor am I speaking of Nate Brown (SWA girls), Jeff Whitely (NW girls), or Shalana Taylor (Northern girls). What has really got my mind moving is a number of old coaches that is making it incredibly more difficult to be a coach in this day and age. I am talking about Jerry Sandusky, Bernie Fine, Robert Dodd, and Graham James.


Left to right, Jon Lee, Anthony Crater and Reggie Stallings.

After checking up on Flint area kids at the JUCO and Division III/NAIA levels, here is a rundown of local kids helping Division I and Division II college teams this season. As always, if we’re missing any, let me know in the comments and I will add them in.


Greg Burks retired from basketball after a productive pro career in Germany.

Because he’s never been the biggest guy on a basketball court, Flint Northern grad Greg Burks has spent his basketball career proving people wrong.

Out of high school, he ended up going to small Prairie View A & M where he turned himself into one of the best guards in the country at that level. His standout college career turned into a successful pro basketball career spent in Germany.

Burks, who is often found working out in Flint area gyms as well as working with the city’s young players, recently decided to retire from basketball. Below are a few questions with him about his career:


Left to right, Vince Adams, Ryan Hickoff, Syrus McDonald and Shaquille Smith.

I’ve been contributing some articles to Michigan Preps, the state’s Rivals-owned, subscription-based high school sports page, throughout the last month or so, and they’re online if anyone has a pays to subscribe and wants to check them out. Here are excerpts from a few recent ones: (more…)

The weekly updates to the Flint area standings and scoring leaders are posted through last Friday’s games. Send any corrections or omissions to patrickhayes13(at)gmail(dot)com or leave them in the comments.

— Patrick Hayes | Great Lakes Hoops

Denzel Watts is attracting high major interest with his play this season.

Carman-Ainsworth’s Denzel Watts is part of the talented crop of Flint area sophomore point guards that also includes Monte Morris (Beecher), Richie Lewis (Northern) and Cullen Turczyn (Lapeer West). Watts is having a fantastic season, averaging more than 20 points per game, and his mix of size and quickness is garnering high major interest. He recently talked to UM Hoops about his college prospects: (more…)

Flint city basketball not recession-proof

Posted: February 10, 2011 by Jared Field in Citybeat, High School

Before I get anyone upset, let’s be clear about both my love of basketball in Flint over the years and, derived from that, my support of it.

I think, at this point, it’s fair to question whether basketball in the City of Flint has ever been lower than it is today. Meaningful games against good teams from outside of the area have gone from wins in the past to losses today. The competitive nature of city basketball appears lost.

Case in point is Flint Northern’s loss to Flint Powers tonight. The Vikings ended up losing by nine, which is respectable considering that Powers is among the top teams in the state. However, try this one for size:

Down 24-21 with two and a half minutes left in the first half Wednesday night, Northern’s guards held the ball in the backcourt. Boos cascaded down from the stands, and for good reason.

Did someone in Flint steal a playbook from Lapeer West? Are you kidding me? How can any coach demand aggression out of players when he’s the basketball equivalent of a conscientious objector?

Where has the fear factor gone? Why is it that suburban teams are no longer afraid to play city teams? Where’s the toughness, intimidation and aggression that was the stock-in-trade of the great city teams of the past?

So far this season I’ve seen a city team embarrassed by Fenton; another embarrassed by Carman-Ainsworth and neither had to leave the city limits for the pleasure. I’ve also see zones, lots of 2-3 zones … typically the least aggressive style of defense. And if you don’t don’t expect aggressiveness on the defensive end, how can you expect it on the offensive end.

It’s gut-check time for Flint basketball.

— By Jared Field | Great Lakes Hoops