Archive | November, 2015

Mayor’s Notebook: On The Come Up Tigers

30 Nov


Davion_WilliamsI stumbled across Davion Williams at a local travel team’s 16u tryout.  Mr. Williams was by far the best player in the gym.  Who was this kid?  Where did he come from?  Word was that he was hailed from McBride.  Knowing there was a McBride, Michigan, I thought that seemed kind of far just to travel for a workout.  But then it struck me, McBride Middle School in Belleville, Michigan.  Davian Williams was an eighth grader holding his own against players two to three years older than him.

That Summer, Williams played up a grade on the Michigan Warriors 15u team.  Williams averaged around 16 points and seven rebounds a contest.  However, it was in July where Davion flourished, leading his team to final four appearances at prestigious tournaments such as the Brawl for the Ball and the Spiece GRBA Nationals.  It was clear this kid had the potential to develop into a standout for an ailing Belleville program.

In his first high school game, Davion poured in 25 points for Belleville in a comeback win against rival Ypsilanti Lincoln.  Williams assumed the role as sixth man for the Tigers, but started on occasion in his first year en route to 10 points, four assists, and four rebounds a night.

Known primarily for his athleticism entering high school, Davion has rounded out a complete skill-set.  He can now take defenders off the dribble, in addition to developing solid form and consistent range with his perimeter game.  However, Williams’ greatest attribute is a desire to compete on the defensive end of the floor, a must in order to play for Belleville head man Adam Trumpour.  A pleasant combination of both strength and agility, the 6’3″ Williams can guard up to three positions on the floor and equally effective at each.

While Davion is a gym rat himself, Coach Trumpour also deserves a tremendous amount of credit for taking the time to work with a young Williams and develop into a bonafide division one college level two guard.  Coach Trump says Mississippi State, Xavier, Michigan, Michigan State and recently Pitt have made repetitive contact with Davion, while Oakland, Eastern Michigan, and U of D Mercy already extended offers.

Davion enters his tenth grade year as the leader for a particularly young but talented Tiger team.  Belleville laid the foundation as a program in 2014-2015.  Besting rival Romulus for the first time in four years, but fell to the Eagles in the opening round of the MHSAA district tournament.  Look for Belleville to continue their upward trajectory as a force in the highly competitive I-94 corridor on the shoulders of Williams, as he certainly has the Tigers on the come up.

Contributed by Adam Troia

Mayor’s Notebook: Reggie Butler’s Big Man Camp

19 Nov

Former Xavier Musketeer legend Reggie Butler held another Big Man Camp recently.  These camps draw good talent from around Michigan.  Butler’s main focus is on establishing position on the block, leverage, footwork, and low-post moves.  One thing campers know when it comes to Big Man camps is to get down to work.  Just ask Xavier Tillman and Austin “Big Country” Davis.  And current Kent State star Khaliq Spicer is one of Butler’s many standout students.

Top Performers


Macomb Dakota’s Thomas Kithier looks for big sophomore campaign.

2018 Thomas Kiether 6-8 Macomb Dakota- Thomas keeps improving polishing up his low-post moves.  Now he is scoring over both shoulders, becoming a big time prospect.  Offers from Oakland and Detroit, with interest from Michigan, Michigan State, and Xavier

2017 Braeden Sackley 6-6 Macomb Dakota- Kithier will have a partner in crime this winter in the Macomb Dakota paint.  Sackley is a transfer from North Carolina with a stop in Toronto, Canada last year.  Sackley has a good jumper from the outside with plenty of bounce.  This camp will help him eat on the inside.

2017 Nate Brooks 6-6 1/2 North Farmington- A transfer from Georgia, Mr. Brooks has long arms and a knack for rebounding.  This guy will be trouble on the glass for the OAA league per Mayor.

2016 Logan Ryan 6-7 Canton- Don’t know how this guy is still on the board in the 2016 class.  Ryan had his passing on display dropping dimes from the high post show the ability to step out as well

2017 Reed Sellers 6-8 Milford- Reed needs to add weight, but it doesn’t appear he’s done growing though.  If he keeps working with Butler, Sellers will have some big games ahead of him.

Carl Bow Jr. 6-0 Hazel Park- Bow is a guard, he was there just working feeding bigs.  Bow has gotten noticeably bigger physically and added bounce to his game.  Look out for him and Mr. Hearns at Hazel Park this year as they both hold division one offers only as sophomores.

Ty Groce Commits to Northeastern

6 Nov

14195551-standardThis dog is ready to run with the upstart Huskies.

Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Ty Groce has made it offical.   After coming back from a visit from Boston, Ty sat down with his mom Marion (a former Ferris State Bulldog), and minutes later broke the news.  Big Ty will be attending Northeastern next year.

Groce had a strong season for Splitter Nation last year, averaging 14 points and six rebounds per-game.  The decision ultimately came down to Duquesne, Rice, and Northeastern.  The visit to Northeastern is where Ty fell in love.

“I like the old style feel to the campus,” said Groce, “the Northeastern basketball family, and the school’s strong commitment to academics.”

Groce at a long and lean 6-8 is one of Michigan’s top seniors.   His ability to step out and make the three-ball and get points in the paint make him a perfect fit for Coach Bill Cohen’s up-tempo style of play.  Northeastern is a program on the rise going 23-12 last year and winning both the Colonial regular season and tournament championships.  The Huskies made their first tournament appearence since 1991 in 2015,  and gave Norte Dame a scare losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament 69-65.  The Huskies have held colonial regular season title 2 of the last 3 years.

Ty credits assistant Brain McDonald for being the point man on his recruitment, and hopes to contribute as a freshman for the Huskies.  Until then, he will lead Splitter Nation into battle this winter.

Contributed by Adam Troia

Photo via MLive

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