Tag Archives: Romulus

Mayor’s Notebook: A Pope Becomes a Cardinal

28 Sep

CPtT1aSUwAAc6EVRahsaan “Moot” Pope made it offical.  Pope, a senior 6-5 wing from Romulus High School, verbally committed to Saginaw Valley State of the GLIAC.  Moot started his prep career at rival Belleville for two years, with one campaign on varsity.  Then he took his skills across infamous Hannan Road, where he said he felt more apart of a family at Romulus.  Last year as a junior, he averaged nine points, five rebounds, and five assists per-game.  Pope had always been on the minds of college coaches, but he certified himself as a scholarship player after a strong Summer with the Michigan Warriors.  Come, July a familiar face followed the Warriors around the circuit.  It happened to be SVSU assistant coach Chin Nwachukwu, AKA Chin-a-Doodle.  Now Coach Chin has told me for several years, if I believe a player is good he would let The Mayor know about it.

Pope went on an unofficial visit to the University Center campus about a month ago, when he was gathering interest from IPFW and Grand Valley State at the time.  Rahsaan later returned on an offficial visit in mid-September.  He felt a strong connection toward the campus, gym accessability, and team/family atsomsphere.  Former Milan standout and current Cardinal junior forward C.J. Turnage helped introduce Pope to the SVSU family.  Finally, head coach Randy Baruth laid a out a challenge to Moot.  Put in the work and raise his game to a new level come Pope’s freshman season.  Rashaan is not the kind of player that backs down!

That is a rap.


Contributed by Adam Troia

Special thanks to Romulus head coach Jarret Smith for assistance on the piece.

Romulus’ Jaylin Walker Scores 23 For Eagles to Dispose Of Rival Belleville

9 Mar

IMG_0219Romulus and Belleville, two schools separated by a mere seven miles along the I-94 Corridor.  A third edition for the Battle of Hannan Road occurred at Westland John Glenn in the first round of the Class A district tournament, the Eagles and Tigers split the two earlier meetings on the year.

It was a strange start to the game.  On a simple break-away, Romulus star guard Jaylin Walker went up for a lay-up, but Belleville senior forward Arlington Hambright wrapped Walker and threw him to the ground.  Jaylin slid into the first row of pull-out bleachers.  After roughly two minutes of discussion, Hambright was awarded an ejection just 1:36 into the contest.

This is not the first time Walker and Hambright have had their on-court issues.  Jaylin said following the game Hambright pulled the exact same move the last time Romulus played Belleville, yet, was not given an ejection.

The young Tigers rallied behind the absence of their senior leader.  Belleville led 16-12 at the end of one, then at one point in the second held a lead as large as eight points.   Senior Andre Dixon and freshman Davian Williams both paced Belleville with 11 and seven first-half points respectively.

However, the Eagles decided enough was enough.  For the last 2:47 of the second quarter, Romulus made a 8-2 spurt to trail by just one at halftime.

The ending to the second was only a preview of what was to come in the third.  Romulus allowed a measly seven third quarter points, while the Eagles were able to hold both Williams and Dixon scoreless in the quarter, as well as allow just two points to Tiger junior stud point guard Mike Bruce in the stanza.  Romulus built a nine point advantage entering the fourth.

Put your stars in positions to succeed, and the team will prosper.  Just ask Walker, “I like doing fast-paced.”

The fourth summed up Walker’s statement.  Jaylin scored nine of his team-high 23 points in the final period of action, a three to shift momentum entirely for the Eagles early in the fourth, and then a show-stopping dunk off an assist from Rio Washington to place Romulus up 15 with 4:22 left.

“There’s not too many people,” said Romulus head coach Jarret Smith, “that can climb the elevator like that in order to get the ball.”

Walker missed one shot the whole night on 10-11 from the field.

“I was just really feeling it,” Walker said.  “My teammates got me into the groove.”

Dixon led the Tigers with 12, and Williams scored 10.  Aside from Walker, D’Angelo Hansbro contributed 12 points, four steals and assists following a sluggish first quarter shooting performance, Rashaan Pope scored six of his 11 points in the fourth quarter along with six rebounds, and senior center Rio Washington tallied six points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Romulus improves to 15-5 on the season, while Belleville concludes the year with a modest 12-9 record.  The Eagles return to Glenn for district semi-final action against Downriver League champion Taylor Kennedy Wednesday night (15-4).



Eagle Combination of Hansbro and Walker Lead Romulus Past Fordson 58-40

11 Feb

photoRomulus needed a spark.

The Eagles trailed Fordson by two with 15 seconds remaining in the first half. Junior point guard D’Angelo Hansbro launched a 30 footer, nothing but net. Hansbro gave the Eagles a 17-16 halftime advantage. In the first 16 minutes of the game, the Eagles committed nine team turnovers, shot 7-19 from the field, and converted on only one of eight free throw attempts.

It probably was the shot at the buzzer,” Hansbro said which sparked momentum for the second half. “Gave me a little momentum and my teammates just told me to keep attacking.”

According to Hansbro, Romulus is a team which thrives in the open court, with exceptional guards and athletes. Romulus nearly doubled their first half scoring output in the third quarter alone. Romulus and Fordson exchanged seven lead changes throughout the third stanza. And once again, Hansbro concluded the third the same way he did the second, a three with time winding down to give Romulus a 32-29 advantage entering the fourth.

We just didn’t want to give them any momentum,” D’Angelo said was the strategy into gaining a third quarter advantage. “So we had to play Romulus basketball, and that’s play in transition.”

The fourth quarter was complete domination by Romulus. The Eagles opened the stanza on a 15 to five run in the opening 3:15, capped off once again by a D’Angelo Hansbro three, his third of the second half. Teammate and senior Jaylin Walker scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, to aid Romulus in building a lead as large as 19 in the final minutes of play.

Hansbro and Walker accounted for 42 of the team’s 58 points. Hansbro led Romulus with 22 points, 17 in the second half, and five rebounds, while the Kent State bound Walker added 20 points and six rebounds.

It’s hard honestly.” Hansbro had to say about stopping the combination of him and Walker. “I think because if we’re in attack mode and confident, I think our team will feed off our energy, and will become hard to beat.”

A key to Romulus gaining an advantage in the second half was the team’s game plan of Fordson senior guard Moe Zahr. Zahr, the leading scorer for the Tractors, scored only three of his 20 points in the fourth, and shot 9-20 from the field the whole game.

I think we did a good job of getting ball pressure on him,” Hansbro said was the game plan on Zahr. “Making him pass the ball more, but he is good honestly.”

The Western Wayne Athletic Conference Blue division is a three team race between Romulus, Belleville, and Fordson. With the win, Romulus is now in sole possession of first. Friday’s game against rival and second place Belleville will be important in the divisional race, however, the team will also return with the services of senior center Rio Washington, who has sat out the past couple of games for an undisclosed reason.

Kris Clyburn Just Settling In At Notre Dame Prep

20 Oct

7c4ee686c5b4059c14118f7db8a3570e_lKris Clyburn, a 2014 graduate of Romulus High School, has only been on the campus of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Massachusetts for a little more than two months.  However, through open gyms, scrimmages, and workouts, Clyburn has accumulated two division one offers, one from Buffalo, the other from Fairfied.

The Buffalo scholarship offer is unique to Clyburn.  Bulls assistant coach Nate Oats was Clyburn’s head coach at Romulus for Kris’ sophomore and junior seasons.

“We are pretty close,” Clyburn had to say about Coach Oats, “he’s a good guy and coach, it feels good to have that offer because I know for sure that I can go there and have someone that will take care of me.”

“It feels good to have any offer really, I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to receive division one offers.”

Kris had multiple collegiate offers in high school, but when he decided to attend a prep school for a year, many went off the table.  Notre Dame prep has a reputation as one of the premier post-graduate basketball programs across the country, with distinguished NBA caliber alumni such as Michael Beasley and Ryan Gomes.  Given the prestige of the school, Clyburn has worked endlessly this fall to improve on his individual game.  He notes he has been increasing in strength, improving upon his ball handling, and becoming craftier around the rim to go along with his strength of perimeter shooting.  All of which will aid in Clyburn fulfilling his goals for the upcoming campaign.

“My goals are to win a championship,” said Clyburn, “and I plan on pulling in more division one offers.


Michigan Class of 2013 Receiving NBA Caliber Recognition

17 Oct

matthewsIn Michigan’s class of 2013, more than twenty players committed to division one schools.  With just one year of college on their resume, a few have appealed to become very promising NBA prospects in the future.

According to NBADraft.net, three members of the class of 2013 are ranked top 50 sophomores for the national class of 2017.  Rhode Island’s EC Matthews, Iowa State’s Monte Morris, and Michigan’s Derek Walton.

The highest was EC Matthews at number 7, a 6’5″ 190 pound combo guard.  In his freshman season, EC averaged 14 points, and four rebounds a game for the Rams while playing more than 30 minutes each contest.  Matthews guided Romulus High School to the 2013 Class A state as a senior.


Coming in at 30, was Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr.  Walton started 36 of the 37 games for the Wolverines his freshman campaign, averaging 7.9 points a game, and three rebounds and assists as well.  Walton attended Chandler Park Academy for high school and played under his 20131203_Derrick_Walton_shoots_against_Jabari_Parkerdad.  A four year varsity participant, Walton received the Michigan Gatorade National Player of the year award his senior season, where he averaged  26 points, seven points and steals a contest.

Number 45 on the list is Monte Morris.  Morris played in all 36 games for the Big 12 champions Iowa State, starting the last 17 contests.  Morris averaged seven points, three rebounds a game his freshman season, and broke the record with 4.79 assist to turnover ratio.  Morris came to Iowa State after a successful prep career at Flint Beecher, capturing two consecutive Class C titles his junior and senior campaigns, culminating with the state’s Mr. Basketball Award his senior season.





8030804For a complete list of the t0p 50 sophomores in NCAA division one basketball, please click here

Romulus’ D’Angelo Hansbro Primed for Breakout Junior Campaign

23 Sep

r2ASMon_The pedigree of Romulus’ guards runs deep, from current head coach Jerret Smith (2005), to Wes Clark, and EC Matthews (2013).  For the upcoming 2014-2015 season, senior Jaylin Walker, a Kent State University commit, will garter most of the spotlight.  However, Romulus is also home to a few up and coming rising junior guards, one of which, D’Angelo Hansbro, received his first division one scholarship coming from the Buffalo Bulls.

“It feels great,” Hansbro had to say, ” it’s an honor, it always feel great when it’s your first.”

D’Angelo said Buffalo offered him the scholarship while at a school open gym.  The coach who was in attendance that day has a special connection to the Romulus Eagle program, Nate Oats.  Oats guided the Eagles to the 2012-2013 Class A state title, amassing a 27-1 overall record on the campaign, and over the course of his position as head coach took Romulus to the Breslin Center five times.  While D’Angelo was just a freshman on the undefeated junior varsity team the year Romulus won the state title, he still developed an important relationship with Coach Oats that eventually turned into a college scholarship.

“That’s someone I can always talk to,” Hansbro said of Coach Oats, “when I need anything, we are real close.”

At 5’11”, Hansbro isn’t the ideal size guard for the next level, but there is more than just height that determines the quality of a basketball player.  He’s very crafty with the ball in his hands, a pass first guard, competes with a high basketball IQ, can shoot the three, and a solid on-ball-defender for a guard.  All of which sound like a All-Star who happens to play in the NBA, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who Hansbro mentions he compares his style of play to.

D’Angelo played 16u travel basektball with The Family Detroit, a Nike sponsored grassroots team.  Traveling across the Midwest during the Spring and Summer, Hansbro said he recieved interest from Akron, Central Michigan, Oakland, Michigan, and Stony Brook.  D’Angelo has no dream school or offer, he only has the goal to become a division one college basketball player.

Hansbro will look for a breakout campaign his second year on varsity this Winter for Romulus.  D’Angelo will crack the starting lineup for the Eagles this year, and will serve as one of the primary ball-handlers and distributors on the team.  The team’s previous season didn’t go exactly as planned, bowing out in the quarterfinals unable to make the trip back to the Breslin Center.  Expectations will once again be high at Romulus this year, even though the team loses four starters from last year’s squad.  D’Angelo was blunt and to the point about his outlook on the season.

“Honestly I think this is the year we win another state championship.”

Romulus 2018 Guard Rashad Williams’ Player Profile

5 Aug

Fab_Frosh_Camp_Action_LR-1830• Height, Weight, and position?

6’1, 165, Point Guard

• High School, Summer team and Graduation Year?

Romulus High School and The Family. Class of 2018

• Players you try to model your game after?

Kyrie Irving, Stephon Curry,

• Important Stats

22 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds

• Most memorable game in your career so far?

Winning the Detroit Public School middle school championship

⁃ How did this past school season go for you and your team?

My middle school team won the Detroit Public School championship so it was a great season.

• Colleges that you would like to attend?

Kentucky, UConn, Syracuse, Michigan, University of Detroit, and Arizona

• Colleges that have shown interest in you so far?

University of Detroit-Mercy

• What makes you unique from other players at your position?

My ability to stretch the floor with my perimeter shooting and my playmaking abilities.

• Strengths and areas you are improving in?

I’m highly skilled. I dribble, pass, and shoot very well. I’m working to consistently play my hardest. I’m also looking improve my basketball IQ, athleticism, and defensively.

• How did the past AAU season go?

It went pretty well. I feel like I improved throughout the season.

• What role do you see yourself having this year for your team?

I see myself as a playmaker and scorer for Romulus this year.

• What will a coach be getting out of you at the next level?

A coachable kid who works hard and who loves being in the gym.

• What will will go into your decision about choosing a college?

The education that they offer, style of play, and what role they would expect me to play, and how well they could get me prepared to play on the next level.

• Most influential person in your life? Why?

My dad. He keeps pushing me and encouraging me to dream big.

• Legacy you want to leave at your school?

I want to win a state championship. I was there when they did it in 2013.

• Where do you see yourself in 15 years?


• Highlight Tape

Video footage available on my website www.rashadwilliams.com

• Fun/ interesting fact about you?

I’m shoot right handed for basketball but I’m left handed with everything else.

• Awards, Accomplishments, other comments?

Ranked Top 100 Nationally by Middle School Elite, Detroit Pal Youth of the Year

• Academic Information

3.4 gpa

• Email?


Romulus’ Kris Clyburn to Prep at Notre Dame Prep (MA)

23 Jun

romulusNotre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Massachusetts is one of the premier post graduate schools in America. Turning out a multitude of division one prospects over the course of its 50+ year existence, as well as current NBA veterans Michael Beasley, and Ryan Gomes. Romulus 2014 guard Kris Clyburn had a plethora of options to continue his basketball career following high school, but chose Notre Dame Prep and is relieved the process is now over.

“It feels great,” Clybrun had to say. “I’ve been stressed for a while now and it’s just a relief to finally make a decision.” “I choose the prep route because I felt that it can better prepare me for the next level.” “I feel like I can go to prep, put on some weight, and become a more of dominant player.”

Kris’ older brother, Will, also attended Romulus in the mid 2000s before starring at Utah and Iowa State, and is currently enjoying a career in Europe. Like his brother Kris, Will was no stranger to taking a difficult path to college. After his senior season, Will’s only offer was a community college in Iowa, but made the most of it and became one of nations best JUCO wings at the end of two years of eligibility. Now it Kris’ turn to work hard, and he notes to term hard work is a unifying factor between the two brothers.

“We both like to work hard,” Clyburn had to say. “I could’ve went right to the NCAA but I just feel like it will be much better and beneficial for me to take the prep route, and just see what that has in store for me.”

Clyburn comes to Notre Dame Prep off of what he calls pretty good season. A bit of a disappointment in Romulus standards, especially considering winning the Class A state championship the year prior, the team won the league championship, again, as well as district and regional titles before bowing out in the quarterfinals vs. U of D Jesuit. But if only looking at Kris individual output, the pretty good can turn into very good. Kris went from serving primarily as a role player his junior season to developing as one of his team’s leading scorers. He notes the aspect of his game that best serves him transitioning to the prep school is his versatility, he can shoot the three, as well as finish around the basket, and jump out of the gym. But for him to be great, he notes, he will continue to gain strength, and develop his ball handling and isolation moves on offense.

The State of Michigan has been hard hit by the influx of prep schools across the nation. Each year, there are multiple talented kids that leave the state to continue both their education and athletic careers at prep schools. And while Clyburn stayed for all four years in high school, the general consensus regarding prep school is skeptical. With NCAA investigations about the education and eligibility surrounding the schools, many ask is it worth it? For Clyburn, he see the opportunity for a prep year as what you put into it, that is what you get out of it.

“If you’re going to put in the work, (both education and athletically), then it can help you a lot, if you’re not going to put in the time and dedication then can be a bad decision for some.”

Barton CC Inks Two Commits from Detroit Area

15 May

th4AZD8NCMBarton Community College, located in Great Bend, Kansas, is one of the premier JUCO’s in the country.  The Cougars year-in-and-out, seemingly always finish with an above .500 record, and are in contention for a JUCO national championship.   Also, Barton has recruited the Detroit area well over the past few years, with two players from local high schools on the 2013-2014 team with Raheem Johnson, 6’9″ sophomore forward, and Rashawn Walker, a 6’8″ forward.  For the incoming class of 2014 for Barton, the Cougars will add another Romulus player, 6’1″ guard Tyron Hamby, and 6’6″ forward Damarco White of Southfield Christian.

Hamby, who took the lead role as point guard his senior year, had one division one offer during the season, from Florida A&M, but was taken away after the head coach was fired.  He was getting looked at by a fair amount of schools, but never received an offer.  Hamby says he picked Barton CC because the coaches showed the most interest out of any schools that recruited him.  Hamby will bring to Barton a smart, playmaking guard who will look to contribute right away.  He has a strong, deceptive handle which allows him to get by defenders going either way, get into the lane, and create for either himself or teammates.  Hamby overall on offense has a good feel for the game, he knows when to change speeds and keep his defender off balance.  He’s a creative finisher at the basket, and his perimeter/mid-range jump shot has improved significantly over the course of his high school career.  Tyron is also a quality defender on the defensive side of the floor, with solid foot speed an IQ.

White will look to bring versatility to the Barton program.  He projects more as a wing at the college level, although he primarily played the post for the three time defending state champion Southfield Christian Eagles.  He can handle the ball well for his size, quick feet and agility, above the rim player, and overall brings energy to the floor whenever he is on the court.

Romulus’ Sevann Williams Looks for Big AAU Circuit

18 Apr

Romulus High School has cemented itself as a perennial state contender in Class A.  The Eagles won the 2012-2013 state crown, and have made five trips to the Breslin Center in the last ten seasons.  The program has also produced some of Michigan’s best players.  From Jerrett Smith (2005), William Clyburn (2008), Justin Moss (2011), Ray Lee (2012), to Wes Clark, EC Matthews and Leo Edwards (2013), the talent pool is never dry at Romulus.

The 2013-2014 Romulus Eagles had high hopes for defending their state title captured a year ago, however were unsuccessful, falling to U of D Jesuit in the quarterfinals.  Regardless, the Eagles once again captured the Western Wayne Athletic Conference title, district and regional titles.  The 2013-2014 campaign also served as a building block for the future of Romulus.  The aforementioned Jerrett Smith took the head coaching job once long time lead man Nate Oats departed to become an assistant for Buffalo in the college ranks.  And while the Eagles took their bumps and bruises during the season, Romulus can rest assure the future of their program is in good hands of a plethora of good players, including 5’8″ point guard Sevann Williams.

Sevann made the transition from JV to varsity his sophomore season, a large part was due to Williams being a member of coach Jerrett Smith’s undefeated JV 2012-2013 team. Sophomores general do not start on high school varsity teams, as was the case with Williams.  However as the season progressed, Sevann steadily gained a larger role with the team, and by the end of the season Williams was regularly playing in the vital moments of a number of contests.

In an era of basketball where the points guards of today were the small forwards of tomorrow (i.e. Michael Carter-Williams and Tyreke Evans), Williams is in the minority regarding desired height for the position.  But when you’re a smaller guard, you need something that can use to your advantage against taller opponents such as quickness.  Williams notes his best attribute is his ability to get into the lane and create for his teammates.

“I’m quick and can get to the bucket, but a weakness I’d say is the height disadvantage I have.”

He models his game after Kyrie Irving, for ball handling and shot creating ability, and Isaiah Thomas for the fact his height showed anybody can make it with the right determination and work put in.

The 2016 class in Michigan has the potential to become one of the best the state has ever produced.  With the likes of Josh Jackson and Cassius Winston at the top, to go along with a variety of point guards and shooting guards receiving the majority of college recruiting attention, it is easy for players like Williams to go under the radar considering he has only played on season of varsity basketball.  Williams said he believes U of D Mercy and Wright State are the only colleges currently expressing interest.  But for Sevann, playing at a high level is important to him because he wants to prove to people height does not determine the quality of a basketball player.

“I’m not even ranked (in the 2016 class rankings),” Williams had to say.  “I don’t think no one really even knows Sevann Williams, (I’m) trying to make a name for myself with basketball.”  “I honestly think I can comet with any of them (players in 2016) without all the hype.”

Before Sevann and his Romulus Eagles can compete for the 2014-2014 Class A state championship, there is a long Spring and Summer portion of AAU basketball on the Horizon.  Williams is a member of the Reach Legends program, one of the top travel basketball programs in the area, who have distinguished alumni such as Michigan State’s Keith Appling.  AAU primarily gives kids an opportunity to improve before the school season begins, and while it is nice to win games and tournaments, Williams will use travel basketball as an chance to “make the right plays, and controlling the ball more efficiently.”

Expectations will once again be high at Romulus next season.  The Eagles return dynamic scoring guard Jaylin Walker, point guard D’Angelo Hansbro, as well as developing low post forward Rio Washington.  To go along with some promising JV talent for next year, when Williams was asked about his expectations for the 2014-2015 Romulus Eagles, he was clear and to the point stating, “A state championship.”


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