Foster Loyer of Clarkston is among the state's top point guards following an impressive performance this weekend in East LansingBasketball  |
East Lansing – With the kind of performance Foster Loyer displayed over the weekend in guiding his squad to a repeat Class A state title, not to mention what he’s done throughout his entire high school basketball career, you’d think the sky’s the limit.
His 40-point outing on Saturday in the state final led Clarkston to an 81-38 victory over Holland West Ottawa at the Breslin Center.
He had 42 points in a semifinal Friday in the Wolves’ 74-49 victory over Warren DeLaSalle.
The shooting touch he displayed in the two games was off the charts. He connected on a remarkable 26-of-36 from the field and 17-of-18 from the free throw line.
The Michigan State-bound point guard was named Mr. Basketball earlier in the week and was a four-time, first-team all-state selection. Clarkston went 97-6 in his four seasons.
Those type of numbers and accomplishments beg the question is Loyer the top point guard to play in high school in the storied history of Michigan high school basketball.
Pound for pound, Loyer just may be the best the state of Michigan has seen at the position.
“You don’t go through your career thinking about it every day, but it’s in the back of your mind,” said Loyer of what his legacy in the state means to him. “I just tried to control the things I could control, which was playing my hardest and smartest whenever I was on the court. I figured the rest would take care of itself. I’ll leave the debates about stuff like that to other people. I’m very proud with what I achieved.”
It’s probably not fair to compare Loyer to future NBA lead guards like Magic Johnson (Lansing Everett) and Jalen Rose (Detroit Southwestern) due to the size factor. Loyer is listed 6-foot tall. He weighs less than 150 pounds.
Johnson was a groundbreaker. The Hall of Famer stood 6-7 at Everett as a senior and ran the point with style, grace and maximum output (a state title high school, a National Championship at MSU and the NBA titles for the Lakers). Rose was a 6-7 lefthander who played the small forward for the Prospectors and switched to the point as he helped lead the Fab Five at Michigan in college then on to a 13-year career in the NBA.
But after those two, it’s really a toss-up when comparing Loyer to past greats. Fellow Mr. Basketball winners Sam Vincent (Lansing Eastern), Eric Turner (Flint Central), Mark Macon (Saginaw Buena Vista), Michael Talley (Detroit Cooley), Marcus Taylor (Lansing Eastern), Dion Harris (Detroit Redford), Manny Harris (Detroit Redford), Drew Neitzel (Wyoming Park), David Kool (Grand Rapids South Christian), Keith Appling (Detroit Pershing), Monte Morris (Flint Beecher) and Cassius Winston (U-D Jesuit) all played the point at an incredibly high level , however, it’s hard to argue any of them did it better than Loyer
Out of the Detroit Public School League, you had such amazing talents as Anderson Hunt (Detroit Southwestern), Howard Eisley (Detroit Southwestern), Eric Money (Detroit Kettering), Johnny Davis (Detroit Murray-Wright), Tajuan Porter (Detroit Renaissance) and Curtis Jones (Detroit Northwestern). In Flint, Mateen Cleaves (Flint Northern) and Terry Furlow (Flint Northern) come to mind and out of the Catholic League, such force of nature floor generals like B.J. Armstrong (Birmingham Brother Rice), Kalin Lucas (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) and Negele Knight (Detroit DePorres) plied their craft to heavy acclaim. Highland Park produced Bobby Joe Hill and Terry Duerod. Oakland County gave us Rashad Phillips (Ferndale) and Macomb County gave us Travis Conlan (St. Clair Shores Lake Shore).
They were all outstanding running a ballclub and most went on to be exceptional in their respective careers after high school.
Clarkston’s longtime coach Dan Fife is hard-pressed to remember someone who could top Loyer.
“He’s as good as anyone I ever saw and I’ve been around this state for over 50 years,” he said. “There might have been guys just as good, I don’t know if you could say anyone was straight up better though. He took our program from a good program to a great program. That was all him.”
Fife, with 703 wins, shared an anecdote from this weekend he felt was a fitting tribute to his star player.
“I was sitting up in bed last night, worrying about the state finals today, thinking if I missed anything in our preparation,” he said. “And then it dawned on me. I’ve got Foster Loyer and when push comes to shove, he’s going to hammer that nail home for you every time you need him to. After I realized that, I slept like a baby.”