Former Northwestern standout, Deandre Upchurch, headed to boot camp

Posted: April 1, 2010 by Jared Field in High School

FLINT, Michigan — DeAndre Upchurch, former standout guard at Flint Northwestern, is headed to boot camp to pay his debt to society after being involved in a drive-by shooting in 2008.

Upchurch was charged along with three others in connection with the north-side shooting, spurred by a $30 debt, that injured a young mother.

All four of the young men were initially charged with five counts of assault with intent to murder, among other charges. Upchurch was denied protection under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, made famous in Flint after the Southwestern football fiasco. He ended up pleading guilty to an amended charge.

Last month, Upchurch was ordered to pay several hundred dollars in court costs and to perform 100 hours of community service. He was remanded to jail pending placement in a Special Alternative Incarceration facility (boot camp) in Washtenaw County. He will remain there for 90 days before being released and put on five years probation.

Boot camp for Upchurch will consist of military-style exercise, work assignments and various social and academic programming. He will be under intense supervision during his stay there.

I’ve been told that Northwestern coach Dave Bush submitted a letter to Judge Richard Yuille demonstrating an opportunity for his former player to go to a junior college in Iowa. This may have influenced sentencing.  A coach, in other words, was willing to give him a chance to play and get an education.

Upchurch did not pull the trigger that nearly took the life of the young mother, but his actions precipitated the shooting. Does the punishment fit the crime?

Memo to young players: There’s a lesson to be learned here. Do you know what it is?

  1. Williford says:

    Be smart about the people you surround yourself with. They can reflect upon you, sometimes in a negative light. Especially if you have such a bright and potent future as Upchurch did.

    People just have to keep their head on straight. This all could have been avoided if he hadn’t gone with the other people involved. Which goes directly back to a simple “No”. That’s all you have to say.

    (Not sure if this is the lesson, I was just stating my opinion, haha)

  2. PJR says:

    Hopefully this young man makes good use of a last chance provided by a society that’s frankly bending over backwards to save him!

  3. Kelly Fields says:

    I remember Jared’s article and was again saddened by the poor choices that young people continue to make. Secondly, I recall thinking the roster for that team could have competed among the highest levels of athleticism.

    Oddly, I don’t think it is about second chances. I think it is a will of the individual to want to do better. I have seen young athletes get chance after chance after chance, and they give them away.

    Fundmentally, it goes back to home-training. Until parents become involved and tenacious about their offsprings, these cycles of ignorance will continue.

    The apple never falls far, from it’s tree.

  4. jmill says:

    I think it’s great that his coach is still involved with his career after graduation. I would be more impressed if he showed the same type of concern or interest in his current players, who haven’t commited any crimes.

  5. […] freshman: After losing the last part of his junior season and his senior season at Northwestern to an off-court legal issue, Upchurch, who was the top player in the city at the time, is making the most out of his college […]

  6. jim says:

    my man could be playing d1 ball right now

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