Archive for the ‘Professional’ Category

History will be made Saturday afternoon (June 7) at Ballenger Fieldhouse (Mott CC) as the Flint Monarchs will play the first women’s professional basketball game ever in Flint, according to the team’s head coach, Bill Schnorenberg. The Monarchs had been a semi-professional team but made the jump to professional basketball during the offseason.

The game is at 4 p.m. versus Chicago.

“I just want everyone to give us a chance,” Schnorenberg said. “We have a a lot of local talent on the roster and girls who have played pro ball overseas. We’re going to take this slow, see what works and not try to get too big too fast. We need support of basketball fans here in Flint. We’re playing in the best gym in Mid Michigan at the Steve Schmidt Gymnasium. The tradition of Mott only adds to what we are trying to do with the Monarchs.”

Jonathon Jones, a former standout guard at Okemos High School and Oakland University, is making a career out of basketball overseas. Recently he was named the Player of the Week on  Jones is currently playing in Slovakia.

Check him out:

23-year old guard Johnathon Jones (183-G-88, agency: TSS Management) put on an amazing game in the last round for Komarno and receives a Player of the Week award for round 25.
He had the game-high 20 points adding six rebounds and seven assists for Komarno in his team’s victory, helping them to outclass Levice (#7, 10-13) with 28-point margin 95-67.

William Hatcher (right, green shirt) sets a screen for Kelvin Torbert during a game Sunday in the Moneyball Summer Pro-Am in Lansing. Hatcher scored 53 points in the game, the top scoring game this summer. (Photo: Patrick Hayes)

Fans of Flint basketball who haven’t made a weekend trip over Lansing to catch a game or two in the Moneyball Summer Pro-Am are missing out. The league features college and professional talent from all over the state, including most of the current Michigan State roster, but this year, there has also been a large influx of Flint’s best products. In fact, two of the six rosters are nearly full of Flint players. Here are some of the Flint guys you can see playing: Charlie Bell, Kelvin Torbert, Lamar Rice, Greg Burks, Desmond Young, William Hatcher, Kevin Tiggs, Marcus Skinner, JuJuan Cooley, Corey Santee, Mike Martin, Marquise Gray, Janon Cole, LaMarcus Lowe and Thad McFadden.

This weekend, Hatcher, a Carman-Ainsworth grad, stole the show in Sunday’s game. Hatcher set the Moneyball single game high this summer by scoring 53 points against the Young Guns team. Hatcher out-dueled the opposing team’s point guard, Nate Duhon, who plays at Lansing Community College, and scored 30 in the game. Hatcher hit the game winner with less than two seconds left. His 53 bested the 45 points scored by Mt. Pleasant grad and current Central Michigan standout Trey Zeigler in a game Saturday.

There are still two more weekends left in the pro-am. Next week is the regular season finale and the playoffs are the following weekend. Admission is free, although as a non-profit organization, they accept donations. Schedules, rosters and details are here. – Patrick Hayes

Pistons: Going Once, Going Twice…

Posted: April 8, 2011 by sabetodo in Professional


About time, too. Tom Gores (from Genesee, incidentally) has agreed to buy the Detroit Pistons. The deal still has to approved by the NBA, but it looks like the deal will close by the end of June.

When I last wrote, Carmelo was still a Nugget, and the Pistons faithful were hoping to land a couple players and maybe a draft pick while unloading Rip Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince.  Of course, this didn’t happen, and I have to wonder whether or not the state of limbo the team was in kept Joe Dumars from making any moves. Fans and players were left disappointed.

And that’s when an ugly season got even uglier.


Cory Hightower might resurface in Edmonton.

Many Flint natives will tell you Cory Hightower is simply the most talented basketball player they’ve ever seen, regardless of level.

Hightower played at Flint Northwestern, then at Mt. Zion Academy (the same school Tracy McGrady went to) before going to Indian Hills Community College to play college basketball. Hightower is one of only a handful of players to get drafted into the NBA straight out of JUCO, getting selected in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs and having his rights immediately traded to the Lakers. Hightower was eventually released, but went on to play professionally overseas and in American minor leagues.

Now though, the 31-year-old could be getting another shot. The Edmonton Journal reports that Edmonton Energy of the International Basketball League could be interested in him:

“Right now, we are in negotiation with three ex-NBA players (including Hightower). The depth and the talent level that could come to the Energy this year is outstanding,” (Edmonton coach Skouson Harker) said.

Hightower said in a Flint Journal profile last year that he’d like to continue playing, so it’s good to see him get the opportunity if this pans out.

– Patrick Hayes | Great Lakes Hoops

JuJuan Cooley

JuJuan Cooley, a standout at Flint Southwestern and Indiana Tech, has had a solid pro career overseas so far, and after a big game for Mures (Romania) in the Balkan League, he was named Eurobasket’s Player of the Week:

The 28-year old guard got a double-double of 14 points and thirteen assists, while his team crushed Balkan (#5, 1-6) with 16-point margin 95-79. Mures maintains the 4th position in Balkan League group B. Mures is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 3-4 record. Cooley has many years of experience at Mures, through which he has constantly improved. Indiana Tech graduate has very impressive stats this year. Cooley is league’s best passer with 8.5apg. Cooley is in league’s top in and averages solid 3.0spg.

— Patrick Hayes | Great Lakes Hoops

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: