Archive for July, 2010

Anton Wilson, a 6-5 junior-to-be swingman at Flint Carman-Ainsworth, has earned his first high-major offer from Baylor University in the Big 12. Wilson, a long and wiry scorer/shooter, has had a solid AAU spring and summer and will probably land some high-major offers closer to home in the coming months.

Before Baylor, Wilson already had offers from Cleveland State, Central Michigan and Rhode Island.

Steve Finamore, the Brooklyn (NY) born former graduate assistant at MSU and head coach at Jackson Community College will be the new head man at East Lansing High School, just minutes from his home.

Finamore took over the newly-reinstated basketball program at JCC three years ago. He has previous head coaching experience at the high school level at Portland High (Michigan) in 2004. He was also an assistant at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ.

Coach Finamore is one of the best basketball minds in the state of Michigan, and anyone who knows him can attest to it. He’s a tremendous motivational speaker and a great X/O teacher. Finamore’s first order of business will be to convince the recently-exiled freshman phenom Steve Haney, Jr. to stay at East Lansing. If Haney stays, East Lansing could be on a course toward a state title in class A in 2012 with all its young talent — Bell, Haney, Efe, Edmonds, etc.

It was recently announced that Haney Jr. would transfer to Lansing Eastern for his sophomore season after a toxic culture of over-involved parents cost former head coach Doug Fleming his job.

Flint Powers junior-to-be forward Danny O’Brien has always been a football player playing basketball. Recently, O’Brien landed his first high-major football offer from the University of Tennessee in the SEC.

O’Brien was a bruiser on the basketball court playing alongside his older brother, Patrick, last season. Danny is a 6-4, 275 pound defensive tackle who will, with little doubt, receive offers from high majors all over the country now that the Vols have the ball rolling.

Time will tell if O’Brien will continue to play basketball. I’ve seen many football players at this prospect status give up on hoops to work on football full time.

Report: Denzel Valentine to reel in UM offer

Posted: July 21, 2010 by Jared Field in High School

Here’s an update from Sam Hosey at LifeinLansing.com on the recruitment of one of Mid-Michigan’s top juniors, Lansing Sexton’s Denzel Valentine.

Denzel Valentine, 6-5 jr. Sexton – Denzel, a 3.5 student, has offers from Xavier, Drake, USC and once U-M headman John Beilein returns from Europe, the Wolverines will be offering. And as many have said, Valentine is the type of player that would do well at Michigan. His cerebral approach to the game and high level of skill make him a terrific prospect.

Interview: William Hatcher talks about Euro ball

Posted: July 20, 2010 by Jared Field in Professional

Here’s a great interview with one of the Flint area’s best and least-known professionals, former Flint Carman-Ainsworth standout William Hatcher. The man everyone calls “Bean” is in the upper echelon of players in Eastern Europe.

From The Flint Journal:

I know you’ve been in Europe for a few seasons now, but where exactly have you been playing?

I’m going back for my fourth year in Europe. My first year I was in Germany, and the past two years I’ve been in the Czech Republic. I think I’ve found a home in the Czech Republic. I’ve been doing pretty good, I’ve been an all-star the past two years, they really like me there and they’re taking good care of me. I’m having a good career so far, I’m enjoying the traveling. Basketball has taken me to a lot of different places, and I get to see the world while playing the game I love.

Two former teammates, Michael Martin and Douglas Toins have committed to Coach Mike Ingram and Lansing Community College. Martin, a 6-5 wing, spent last season playing JUCO ball in Iowa before returning home. He’s lanky, really athletic and fun to watch in transition. He’s not close to a finished product, so Coach Ingram and his staff will have some work to do. Martin came into his own as a junior at Northern, but ran out of eligibility for his senior season.

Toins was a blue-collar reserve at Flint Northern last season. He can play multiple positions at about 6-2 and, at least physically, is ready for the JUCO game. In the games that I’ve watched him, he actually has a fairly reliable outside shot. He’ll play hard, rebound and defend, which is what you would expect from a player who has something to prove.

High School camp at the Cage starting Monday

Posted: July 16, 2010 by Jared Field in High School

Proving Grounds Basketball Academy is holding its high school Elite Skills Camp starting on Monday and running through Thursday. The boys camp goes from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and the girls camp is from 1 p.m.  until 4:30 p.m.

Coach Jeremy Trent will be in charge of the week’s instruction. Campers will be able to participate in daily contests as well as scrimmages and an end of camp all-star game. Each camper will also receive a T-shirt.

The cost is $80 for the week or $140 for two campers. To reserve your spot e-mail provinggroundsbasketball@gmail.com or call  1-866-THE CAGE.

FLINT, Michigan — Former Mott Community College and University of Detroit standout Thomas Kennedy has signed on with Dombovar KC in Hungary. Kennedy, a 6-7 small forward, has a Euro-style skillset and should thrive in Hungary’s premier league. An All-American at Mott, Kennedy spent two seasons at the University of Detroit where he was named team MVP as a senior.

Kennedy was also considering offers in Finland, Germany and Japan. He will share a border with former teammate Kevin Tiggs, an all-star in Ukraine.

Team Detroit wins U-16 championship at GLSC

Posted: July 15, 2010 by Jared Field in High School

FLINT, Michigan — Down nearly 20 points in the first half, Team Detroit drilled Dorian’s Pride in the second half to win the first annual Great Lakes Summer Championship in the U-16 division, 82-71.

Flint Beecher may just have the best backcourt in the state this coming season after what I saw today. Sophomore to be Monte Morris and junior-to-be Antuan Burks dominated this game in the second half on both ends of the floor. Burks is a tireless defender and Morris is a straight killer with the ball. The pair, along with another Flint area guard, Denzel Watts (Flint C-A), spearheaded the comeback. Watts might not be as explosive as some of the other guards in his class, but physically he’s on another level.

Flint Powers junior-to-be Javontae Hawkins had a very poor outing in the finale, but had a great tournament overall. For the basketball pundits who continually label Hawkins as a shooter, please stop. You’re doing him a disservice. Please wait until he really develops a consistent outside shot before granting him that moniker.

Dorian’s Pride is the more talented of the two teams, at least when it’s at full strength. Pride was without Steve Haney Jr. (Lansing Eastern) and Matt Costello (Bay City Western).  Their best and most efficient player was 6-3 Rochester junior Taylor Perry, who recently picked up an offer from Western Michigan. He’s a high-energy player who’s way more advanced than I had imagined. Nice mid-range game. 6-6 Saginaw junior-to-be Kevin Marshall was also a pleasant surprise. He’s filled out a little and showed the ability to make the turnaround in the paint against TD.

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It is being reported on Lansing radio today that arguably the state’s top prospect in the 2013 class is transferring to Lansing Eastern. Steve Haney Jr., the 6-6 forward who was East Lansing’s top player as a freshman on varsity, will be a Quaker. After the season, Haney’s head coach was fired for undisclosed reasons. The speculation was that parents of players in Doug Fleming’s program were jealous of the attention and playing time Haney received in his first season.

East Lansing’s program goes from being among the best in the state for 2010-11 to very average overnight.