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Second Annual Prep Ball Classic Recap

7 Jan

The Second Annual Prep Ball Classic featured some of the best teams and players across the Midwest as Michigan, Ohio and Illinois were all represented at North Farmington High School.

Game Results:

Ecorse 77 Lincoln Park 52

Detroit Country Day 68 Mt. Clemens 56

Chicago Uplift 77 Southfield Christian 32

Chicago Orr 82 Detroit Edison 46

Chicago Bogan 88 Detroit Renaissance 66

Farmington 72 Maumee Valley Country Day 57

Prep Ball Classic First-team:

Markese Jacobs Chicago Uplift

Terry Williams Chicago Orr

Tariq Sheppard Farmington

Demetrius Champion Detroit Country Day

Rashaun Agee Chicago Bogan

Prep Ball Classic Second-team:

Deondre Bonaparte Ecorse

Javaugh Hannah Mt. Clemens

Jaden Akins Farmington

Tujautae Williams Chicago Orr

Sherif Kenney Chicago Orr

 

 

Inaugural Prep Ball Classic Recap

2 Feb

3L9A3757The inaugural Prep Ball Classic took place at Voyageur Prep on Sunday, January 28th.  The foundation has now been laid for the event to grow upon and continue in a forward trajectory.

Detroit Douglass 66 Ferndale 55

The Hurricanes thoroughly led from start to finish in the opening game of the day.   Douglass found most of their success when operating a five guard line-up that controlled both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.  The best freshman in the state, Pierre Brooks II, is a budding star that at times played all five positions on the court.  He is definitely the future of the PSL and will be appointment viewing in only a matter of time.

Game MVP: Pierre Brooks II

3L9A3912Voyageur 59 Mt. Clemens 46

Mt. Clemens had the size advantage, but the Voyageur guards were the difference for the Cougars.  Voyageur’s Lemuel Holt and Elijah Belle are both effective and efficient two-way players that know what it takes to win and don’t beat themselves.  Teams are certainly going to have to earn a victory against Voyageur come playoff time.

Game MVP: Elijah Belle

Detroit Edison defeats Saginaw

3L9A4166Saginaw held tough for about a half of play, but the Edison quartet of division one players Pierre Mitchell, Gary Solomon, Deante Johnson and Brian Taylor wore down the young Trojans over the course of 32 minutes.  With size, athleticism and scoring ability, Edison is primed to make a return trip to the Breslin Center, and this time come away with hardware.

Game MVP: Brian Taylor

3L9A4247Detroit Henry Ford 63 Detroit Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies 52

This game might as well have been a game of 21, as it was decided between three players.  Ford senior guards Deontae Ulmer and Anthony Robert accounted for 55 of of their team’s 63 points, while HFA’s Purdue bound big-man Trevion Williams scored 20 of his team’s 52 points, grabbed 26 rebounds and dished eight assits.  HFA controlled the first quarter of the game, but as Ford has traditionally done over the years as a championship program, executed defensively with surgical precision the remainder of the game.  Ford dictates how they want team’s to play, regardless of personnel, as evident against HFA.

Game MVP: Anthony Roberts

Old Redford 61 Loyola 52

3L9A4320If Loyola was going to to win this game, it was going to have to be a low-scoring affair against a team with as explosive an offense as Old Redford.  Loyola made it a defensive game, but credit Old Redford for being able to win a game when shots were not falling.  Sophomore sensation Isaiah Jackson had only four points, but led the defensive effort with 14 blocked shots.

It also appears as though star guard Mark “Rocket” Watts has found a new friend in the backcourt with junior transfer Troy Lattimore.  It wasn’t vintage Watts, finishing with a respectable 18 points, but it was Lattimore that ultimately swung this game in Old Redford’s favor in the second-half.  He is another ball handler and playmaker that can take pressure off of Watts to facilitate the offense with the experience that comes with being a third year varsity player.  Lattimore buried four crucial triples as Old Redford distanced themselves from Loyola, and handed out a number of assists as well.  Old Redford’s ultimate success this season could hinge on how well Watts and Lattimore compliment each other in the backcourt.

Game MVP: Troy Lattimore

All-Classic Teams

First Team

Pierre Brooks II 6’4″ freshman guard Detroit Douglass

Troy Lattimore 6’0″ junior guard Old Redford

Anthony Roberts 6’3″ senior guard Detroit Henry Ford

Brian Taylor 6’5″ junior wing Detroit Edison

Trevion Williams 6’9″ senior center Detroit Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies

Second Team

Elijah Belle 5’10” junior point guard Voyageur

Deontae Ulmer 6’3″ senior guard Detroit Henry Ford

Gary Solomon 6’5″ senior guard Detroit Edison

Tyreke Banach 6’7″ senior forward Mt. Clemens

Myron Gardner 6’6″ junior forward Loyola

Photos courtesy of Paul Snyder

 

Website Update

16 Feb

For the pst five years, The Prep Ball Report has been committed to providing extensive and knowledgeable coverage on Michigan High School basketball presented in a professional manner.

To not honor those building blocks which the website was founded on would a disservice to the Michigan basketball community.

Beginning immediately, the website will discontinue coverage in-order to establish a more effective means to fulfill the values this page was founded on.  

I would like to thank all those who have viewed this page since inception, your support does not go unnoticed.

Until then,

Steven Manrique

Another Step in the Right Direction

23 Jan

The third edition of the Coaches Against Violence Invitational was yet another building block is the ascension of this event as a premier showcase in Michigan.

This year, the brand was elevated with the prominent media coverage of Branden Hunter of Michigan Preps and Rico Beard of Spartan Mag.

Also, it would be remiss if the one-and-only Chicken King was not mentioned for providing quality meals and discussion worthy cornbread.  Check them out at their Farmington location on Grand River.  Tell them the Coaches Against Violence Invitational sent you.

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DeMario Turner leads Community to win.

Game One: Detroit Community (5-5) 66 Detroit Westside Christian (9-4) 32

 

This game featured a battle between quality senior wings DeMario Turner of Community and James Jordan of Westside, both of whom should be on the radar for college coaches.  The two finished in double-digits scoring wise, but the Hurricane depth and strong defensive game-plan were enough to overpower the Warriors and cruise to a sold victory.  Outside of Turner, many of Community’s key players are either sophomores or juniors.  Meaning the future is bright for head coach Damon Porter’s group.

MVP- 6’4″ senior wing DeMario Turner 17 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks

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Vince McKinney is the heart for DPSA.

Game Two: Detroit Public Safety (7-4) Ypsilanti Arbor Prep (6-5)

 

These two teams met last year with Arbor Prep defeating DPSA by twenty at home.  This year on a neutral court, DPSA left little doubt about who the better team was.  Simply put, DPSA could have named the score after the first quarter.  After losing their first four games of the year, DPSA has won the next seven in a row, including a quality road victory at Waterford Out Lady of the Lakes.  It has been interesting to watch the progression of DPSA as a program the past three Coaches Against Violence Invitationals from a team with promise to a program that expects to win games each night.  The Eagles have the talent, athleticism, and size to match with any Class D team in Metro-Detroit this year.  The Breslin Center is a realistic expectation for this group.

MVP- 6’3″ senior forward Vincent McKinney 19 points and 16 rebounds.

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Farmington’s Jordan Graham can fill the basket.

Game Three: Farmington (8-3) 58 Detroit Voyageur 40 (2-5)

 

It is truly astonishing to realize how much high school basketball can change in the course of three years. These two teams squared off at the inaugural Coaches Against Violence Invitational in 2015, Voyageur (former Consortium) had just come off a Class C state championship, while Farmington was slowly but surely developing a quality program in Oakland County.

Now fast-forward to 2017, the experience laden Falcons dominated the Cougars, holding a commanding double-digit lead throughout most of the second-half.  Voyaguer is a relatively young team, sophomore point guard Elijah Belle is the building-block going forward for the Cougars.  However, Belle and his teammates had no answer for 6-5″ swingman Jordan Graham, arguably the top unsigned senior talent remaining in Michigan.  Farmington will go as far as Graham takes them, but he has capable guards in Ray Bryant and Jay Kirby to aid the way as the Falcons are in prime position to make a deep playoff journey through Oakland County this year.

MVP- 6’5″ senior wing Jordan Graham 28 points and eight rebounds.

3l9a0888

Marquette bound Jamal Cain brought his A game for the event.

Game Four: Detroit Cornerstone (7-2) 82 Detroit Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (4-3) 44

 

As far as overall team-play is concerned, Cornerstone did win convincingly against the Mustangs.  However, this game drew a solid following due to the match-up of skilled big men in senior Jamal Cain (Marquette) and junior Trevion Williams.

Williams had three fouls before intermission, and Cornerstone took advantage of that time frame to build a lead to put the game out of reach for SCS.  But for the limited time Cain and Williams guarded one-another, it was a compelling battle with the contrasting styles the two feature, the finesse and smooth game Cain processes and the rugged throwback game Williams highlights.  These two are amongst the top in their classes and the state overall, and challenged themselves against a player with equally comparable talent, an act the two deserve to be exalted for.

MVP- 6’7″ senior forward Jamal Cain with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

3l9a0968

It will be hard to keep Kelly Broadus out the paint this year.

Game Five: Detroit Frederick Douglass 81 (9-3) Detroit Old Redford 62 (5-5)

 

Last year, the second annual Coaches Against Violence Invitational had a team in Detroit Northwestern that flew under the radar in the Public School League, then in the city playoffs stunned one of the larger schools.

This year, Douglass fits that narrative.  The Hurricanes deploy a three-headed monster senior guard attack with 5’7″ speed-demon Kelly Broadus, 6’1″ cerebral Jarnard Smith, and 6’4″ marksman Carlos Walker-Byars.  The trio combined for 70 of Douglass’ total points.  The recipe for success come March is guards and seniors, Douglass happens to have both.

MVP- 5’7″ senior guard Kelly Broadus 32 points and four steals.

All-Invitational First Team

Douglass senior guard Kelly Broadus  32 points and four steals

Old Redford sophomore guard Mark Watts 32 points

Farmington senior wing Jordan Graham 28 points and eight rebounds

Public Safety senior forward Vince McKinney 19 points and 16 rebounds

Cornerstone senior forwardJamal Cain 22 points and 12 rebounds

All-Invitational Second Team

Douglass senior guard Jarnard Smith 18 points

Douglass senior guard Carlos Walker 20 points and eight rebounds

Public safety sophomore guard Thomas Henderson 16 points

Farmington junior guard Jay Kirby 15 points

Community senior wing DeMario Turner 17 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.

IPS Showcase Recap

19 Sep

T.J. Kelley’s 11th annual IPS showcase was loaded with talent once again.  This year the campers received a shooting demonstration from former Mr. Basketball winner and Xavier standout Brad Redford.  Redford spoke to campers about setting goals.  Then he calmly torched the nets at Hype Recreation Cemter. 
The obvious standout was 2018 guard Brandon Wade/Ann Arbor Skyline and his eight division one offers as he just dominated the compitition. 2018 Belleville wing (6-7) Gabe Brown showed off his range.   Brown now has four d1 offers after a productive Summer.
2018 wing Trey Jackson of Detroit Western has improved tremendously. Jackson repeteadly used his 6-7 frame to score over defenders in the half-court.

Jackson already has Eastern Michigan and U of D Mercy offers and is looking to add to that.

2019 Sage Walker Corunna (6-9) had his way on the glass all day. Now under new coach Rocky Buscemi, Mr. Walker will be a prospect to keep a eye on.

Across the River

Windsor’s Three Kings Prep had two prospects represent. 

 6-4 Ezeoha Santiago showed a strong mid-range game and good court-vision.

6-9 Jordan Kenning formerly of kitchener, Ontario showed good basketball I.Q. and has good grades as well.  Limited on the offensive end, however.
Stock risers

2017 kelvon Bassett Det king 6-4

2018 Andy Milliken Walled lake northern 6-1

2018 Trendon Hankerson Novi 6-1

2017 Reid Sellers 6-9 Milford 

2017 Carl Bow 6-2 Hazel Park
Contributed by Adam Troia

Mayor’s Notebook: A Holiday Feast

5 Jan

Special thanks to Mr. Randy willams for putting on this awesome event which featured over 50 games.  Thanks to T.J. Kelley for helping the media.  This event also has one of the best announcers in the game, Mr. Eric Tate, also known as three times.

Teams making noise

Let’s start in class B.  Everyone is talking about New Haven, but WATCH OUT for River Rouge.  They picked up a 69-55 win over Cinnanatti Withrow on day two to move to 4-0 and they take on Taylor Kennedy Tuesday.  They are led by 2017 guard Darian Owens-White, who picked up an MVP award and watch out for 2016 Dorian Watson as he is much improved.
Grosse Pointe South- They pulled out a overtime win over a good Novi team to move to 4-0 and play Canton on Tuesday.  2017 forward Brennan Bushka scored 22 points on his way to an MVP award.  Senior forward Jack Maher can shoot it, and junior point guard Zane Draper can play as well
Detroit Western- The Cowboys are on a 31 game winning streak after knocking off a good walled Lake Central team on day five.  Oakland commit Brailen Neely grabbed the MVP award.  He teams with sharpshooter Armami Tinsley, defensive specialist Karim Murray, energy man Josh Long, and the scrappy Kyree Boynton to make up the most dangerous squad in the PSL and will push for another Class A title.

Day four saw an instant classic as the now 3-1 Belleville Tigers beat a good Saginaw team by three. 2016 forward Calvin Blaydes was the MVP after putting up 25 points in 13 rebounds, sophomore sensation Davion Williams added 17 points and 8 rebounds, and senior forward Trevor Melinda chipped in with nine points and five rebounds.
Who Showed Out

2016 Rochester Adams Duquesne commit Spencer Littleson 38 points vs. Novi
2018 Ann Arbor Skyline guard Jack Ammerman 36 points vs. Hazel Park (nine three-pointers)
2016 Novi guard Kam Hankerson Green Bay commit had games of 21 points and 19 points.
2016 Southfield guard Mike Flowers had games of 31 and 37 points
2018 Frankenmuth Forward Mario Whitley had 27 points vs. Bloomfield Hills
2016 North Farmington guard Jacob Joubert had 12 points including a game winner and is much improved from a campaign a year ago

Mayor’s Pre-season Class D Rankings

7 Dec

1. Lenawee

2. Our Lady of the Lakes

3. Powers North Central

4. Inter-City Baptist

5. Tri-Unity Christian

Mayor’s Pre-season Class A Rankings

7 Dec

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The state’s most competitive division will be one to watch.

1. U of D Jesuit- The third time could be the charm for the Cubs, as U of D has ended their season in the state semi-finals the previous two years.

Key players- 6’0″ senior guard Cassius Winston, 6’9″ junior forward Ike Eke, 6’8″ junior forward Greg Eboigboden, 6’0″ sophomore guard Elijah Collins, 5’9″ freshman guard Julian Dozier

2. Detroit Western– Western will have their whole team from day one this season.  The Cowboy backcourt will be the team’s strength, with the ability to apply pressure defense, and make perimeter shots.

Key players- 5’10” senior guard Brailen Neely, 6’0″ senior guard Armani Tinsley, 6’2″ senior guard Karim Murray, 6’6″ junior forward Josh Long, 6’5″ junior forward Demoines Whitney

3. Detroit East English Village- On paper one of the deepest teams in the state having played together both during the high school and travel seasons.  But must execute as a cohesive unit to reach potential.

Key players- 6’3″ senior guard Karmari Newman, 6’5″ senior forward Cedric Lattimore, 6’4″ senior forward Jaylin McFadden, 5’11” senior guard Chris Rollins, 6’4″ senior wing Lamar Neely, 6’7″ senior forward Joe Barron, 5’10” senior guard Nate Bowlware, 6’3″ junior guard Greg Elliott

4. Macomb Dakota- Have the size, smarts, and guards to make a run for Class A.

Key players- 6’0″ senior guard C.J. Marshall, 5’8″ junior guard Jermaine Jackson Jr., 6’6″ junior forward Braeden Sackely, 6’7″ sophomore forward Thomas Kithier.

5. Clarkston– That team from up north always finds ways to win.

Key players- 6’4″ senior guard Tabin Throgmorton, 6’4″ junior wing Dylan Alderson, 5’10” sophomore guard Foster Loyer.

6. Grand Rapids Christian– With two transfer forwards GRC is suddenly a player in Class A, will need a point guard to develop.

Key players- 6’7″ junior forward Xavier Tillman, 6’6″ junior forward James Beck.

7. Detroit Renaissance– All the pieces in play to make a run for city and state crowns.

Key players- 6’3″ senior guard Justin Turner, 6’6″ senior forward A.J. Jackson, 5’10” senior guard Richard Talley, 6’4″ junior guard LaRhonde Lucas, 6’5″ sophomore forward Jalen Tobias.

8. Lansing Everett- Gone is Trevor Manuel, but three standout guards will lead Everett to many victories this season.

Key players- 6’4″ senior guard JaMyrin Jackson, 6’1″ senior guard LeAndre Wright, 5’10” junior guard Nyrell Powell.

9. Kalamazoo Central– Despite losing their best player via prep school, the Maroon Giants have the talent to remain top dogs in Southwest Michigan.

Key players- 6’0″ senior guard Jeremiah Richard, 6’7″ junior forward Isaiah Livers, 6’5″ junior forward Rog Stein, 6’4″ junior guard Ontario Burnett.

10. East Kentwood- The Falcons put together a perfect regular season, and return a balanced group of seniors at every position.

Key players- 6’7″ senior forward Andrew Madison, 6’2″ senior guard Micah Rosser, 6’2″ senior guard Brandon Fuller.

11. North Farmington- Billy T will be eligible for the whole year this season, and he has help on the way with a transfer from Michigan and Georgia.

Key players- 6’0″ senior guard Billy Thomas, 6’2″ senior guard Obi Duru, 6’3″ senior guard Alex Darden, 5’10” senior guard Josh Hogans, 6’3″ junior guard Amauri Harden, 6’6″ forward Nate Brooks.

12. Belleville- Could easily be mistaken for a J.V. with the amount of youth the Tigers have.  Their game, however, is varsity approved.

Key players- 6’5″ senior forward Calvin Blaydes, 6’6″ senior forward Trevor Molinda, 6’3″ sophomore guard Davion Williams, 6’2″ sophomore guard Kmari Carey, 6’2″ sophomore wing Devin Alverson.

13. Romulus- Not the most talented of Romulus teams, but will compete.

Key players- 6’3″ senior guard Rahsaan Pope, 6’7″ senior forward Trey Carter, 6’0″ senior guard D’Angelo Hansbro, 5’10” senior guard Sevann Williams, 6’2″ senior guard Khari Williams, 6’0″ sophomore guard Kaevon Merriweather, 6’0″ sophomore guard Rashaad Williams.

14. Ypsilanti– The Grizzlies lack size, but Coach Brooks’ team will guard the length of the floor.

Key players- 6’2″ senior guard Corey Allen, 6’1″ senior guard Rayjon Williams-Jackson, 5’10” junior guard Marlin Talley, 5’11” junior guard James Davis, 6’5″ sophomore forward Josh Perkins.

15. Muskegon- No big names this year for Muskegon, but the Big Reds will find ways to win games with players having to take on different roles.

Key players- senior guard 5’10” Michael Littlejohn, 6’0″ senior guard Linwood Lee, 6’5″ junior forward Anthony Bethea.

 

 

Oh Times Goes By So Fast

17 Aug

For three years, I have covered high school basketball in Michigan.  The inspiration behind the website came after reading an article about a kid my age in New Jersey who had started his own successful basketball website.  Already a prep sports enthusiast for years at the time in tenth grade, a project was born.

I initially covered football in the Fall of 2012.  Once the state finals at Ford Field concluded, it was basketball season.  I’ve always liked the two sports, but there’s something unique about Michigan high school basketball that drew me in.  The rivalries, tradition, enthusiastic crowds and fans, state tournaments, it was an atmosphere I wanted to be apart of; only from the stands.

From then on I continued on covering the AAU part of high school basketball.  I had always wondered why certain players received specific college interest and how coaches evaluate talent on the court.  At that point I learned prep basketball is a business, and like life, it’s not always fair.  I felt as though is was my responsibility to continuously advocate for the lesser known players in Michigan, a core value behind The Prep Ball Report, knowing the impact a college education can have on a family and community.  I am unclear to date on how many student-athletes went to the next level because of my services, but there has been no better feeling than the thank yous I have received from players after an article was written with their name in it.

Although this website has been a true labor of love the past few years, it is time for me personally to move on.  In May of 2015, I graduated from University of Detroit Jesuit High School, and in the Fall I will be attending Loyola University Chicago, a Jesuit school located in Rogers Park neighborhood of the city.  I do not plan on continuing as a writer for the time being, instead my time will be devoted toward working as a student manager for the Rambler basketball team.  Loyola compiled a 24-13 record in the prestigious Missouri Valley conference a season ago, and captured the College Basketball Invitational tournament championship.   In addition to my role as a manager, I plan on studying sports management in college.

However, this is not necessarily the end of The Prep Ball Report.  I have assembled a staff of insiders who will continue in my absence on covering basketball in Michigan.  Notably, Adam “Mayor” Troia, a fixture on the Detroit basketball scene who is a regular contributor to the Michigan Insider on 1050 WTKA.  I am confident in Adam’s ability on spotlighting the young stars of Michigan, as well as the diamonds in the rough, which will be invaluable towards the future of this ongoing project.

I am a firm believer in surrounding yourself around positive people.  I would like to extend a gracious thank you to all the players, parents, fans, fellow reporters, and high school and college coaches I have come into contact with the past three years.  Your support does not go unnoticed.

The Prep Ball Report will always have a special part in my life.  Growing and developing an idea into a respectable brand was a once in a life-time opportunity for me.  Above all the personal notoriety it has brought me, the lasting impact will be how I’ve grown as a person, not just a basketball reporter.  Contrary to what many believed, my school grades improved once I started The Prep Ball Report, as well as my self-esteem and worth increased.  Sports have and will always play an important role in my life.  My ultimate goal is to work for a professional sports franchise one day.  And I owe a debt of gratitude to the Michigan high school basketball community for teaching me life-long lessons and serving as a launching point.

Thanks,

Steven

Brawl for the Ball Underclassmen Preview

9 Jul

The first major event in Michigan for the July Live Evaluation takes place in Grand Rapids at the Brawl for the Ball.

Jeff McKinney and I preview the top players to look at for in Grand Rapids.

2019

Sean Cobb forward Michigan Mustangs- Haney 15u

Mark Watts guard Reach 15u

Khalid Fleming guard Michigan Mustangs- Bacon 14u

Zach Trent guard The Family 16u

Christian Knox guard Michigan Mustangs- Brown 14u

Anthony Rogers forward Michigan Mustangs- Brown

2018

D’Avery Moore guard Grand Rapids Storm 15u

Markeese Hasting guard Grand Rapids Storm 15u

Jake Lee forward P-45 

Payton Harley guard Grand Rapids Storm 15u

Braeden Childress P-45

Keyon Brown guard Michigan Playmakers 16u

Tray Jackson forward Michigan Mustangs- Haney 15u

Quinn Blair forward Reach 15u

Anthony Roberts guard Reach 15u

Ron Hill guard Reach 15u

Thomas Kiethier Michigan Mustangs- Faletti 15u

Brandon John forward Triple-Threat 16u

Jalen Tobias forward Michigan Mustangs- Faletti 15u

Davion Williams guard Michigan Mustangs- Faletti 15u

Lamar Norman guard Michigan Mustangs- Vallar 15

Duane Washington guard Michigan Mustangs- Vallar 15u

Dave Hearns guard Reach 15u

Tanner Reha guard Michigan Mustangs- Faletti 15u

Taylor McCaskill guard Michigan Mustangs- Faletti 15u

Goliath Mitchell guard Michigan Mustangs- Faletti 15u

Carl Bow guard Michigan Mustangs- Faletti 15u

Noah Schon guard Michigan Titans 15u

Jacob Brantley guard Michigan Playmakers 15u

Randy Frison guard Wolfpack 15u

Antonio Marshall guard Playmakers 15u

Nate Davis guard Team Basketball 15u

D.J. Lundy forward Michigan Warriors- 15

Devin Alverson guard Michigan Warriors 15u

Kmare Carey guard Michigan Warriors 15u

Andy Milikan guard Michigan Warriors 15u

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