Top players in Class of 2018 for boys basketball say they'll remain loyal and stayBasketball  |
While many have said that the talent level in boys basketball in this state has decreased over the years, the perception could be the fact that many of the top players have left.
Josh Jackson (Detroit Consortium) and Miles Bridges (Flint Southwestern), two of the best seniors in the country both transferred to prep schools out of state. Brian Bowen (Saginaw Arthur Hill), one of the top players in the country in the class of 2017, transferred out of state after last season.
But the top players in this year’s sophomore class, highlighted by East Lansing’s Brandon Johns, Clarkston’s Foster Loyer and Detroit Edison’s David DeJulius, have the look of players who are here to stay.
Not only are they here to stay in Michigan, but the three players have no intentions of even transferring to a different school, something that has become an epidemic of sorts throughout the state.
Johns, the No. 4 player in the State Champs! top 25 rankings, said that continuity is something that’s important to him and the chemistry he has with his teammates and coaches at East Lansing is what has him staying put.
“It’s pretty important,” he said. “If you’re transferring or hopping teams, you don’t really know how each other plays, but playing with each other for a while is different and the team chemistry is there.”
Loyer has spent much of his life on the go. His dad is former Detroit Pistons coach John Loyer. Foster Loyer was born in Cincinnati and has moved several times since.
When discussing his star point guard’s situation, longtime Clarkston coach Dan Fife said that when Loyer was let go as coach in Detroit, his family still made the decision to find a home in the area so Foster could attend high school in Clarkston.
“Foster can probably tell you, but they went around to a lot of high schools and saw lots of teams play and he came here,” Fife said. “They rented here, but when he lost his job and they brought in Van Gundy, his dad got a job and they bought a new home in Clarkston.”
As any coach can probably admit to, the discussion of transfers surrounding star players can make for an uneasy feeling for them, but Loyer chimed in mid-sentence while his coach was talking with some reassuring words.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Foster noted.
Fife responded with a laugh.
”Oh God, that made me feel better, I can sleep better tonight, Foster.”
For the Loyer family, when it came down to choosing a high school, they were looking for a stable program and school for him to complete high school.
“We moved here because my dad just liked the area,” Foster Loyer said. “We knew coach Fife was a great coach when we first moved here and ever since I started playing for him. I think he’s the best coach in the state of Michigan and there’s not a doubt in my mind that he’s going to do his best to help make me the best player I can be and the best person I can be, and that’s something that’s very important to me.”
And now, after almost two full seasons in the Clarkston program, Loyer, the No. 7 ranked player in the State Champs! rankings, is enjoying the stability he’s had with the Wolves.
“It just gives you the thought of stability in the back of your head,” he said. “I’m here, I’m going to do my job and I don’t have to worry about anything else. It’s just a great feeling knowing that.”
Much like Loyer, DeJulius was a highly sought after player entering high school before deciding to play for Edison, a charter school located in the Eastern Market area. DeJulius said he’s staying put.
“I’m all about family and I’m all about loyalty as well,”