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BASKETBALL: The high school basketball talent in Detroit is alive and well

By: Branden Hunter, June 3, 2014, 12:16 pm

DETROIT – Just over ten years ago guys like Dion Harris, Maurice Ager, Joe Crawford, Malik Hairston, and Brandon Cotton, to name a few, ruled the high school scene in Detroit. Eventually turning into national recruits, and having successful careers in college.

Even just a few years ago, the city once boomed with the likes of Corperryale "Manny" Harris, Eric Evans, Flenard Whitfield, Keith Appling, and Derrick Nix. Nowadays you don’t see that collection of talent all at once, but Detroit always has, and always will produce stars on the hardwood. 

Today, many regard Consortium sophomore Josh Jackson as the best prospect Michigan has seen since Chris Webber, 23 years ago, and the No.1 player in his class. The 6-foot-7 do-it-all type of player, has certainly lived up to the hype and then some, leading his team to a Class C state title as a sophomore. Sorry Ms.Jackson, but the kid is for real! 
Over on West Seven Mile Road, the top point guard in the state roams the halls of U-D Jesuit, and he’s only a sophomore as well. Cassius Winston has a old school type of feel to his game, and appears to have the ball on a string with the way he handles it. He already holds offer a Michigan State offer, and is a top-fifty national player.

The class of 2016 in the city is a very deep group, particularly at the guard spot. Renaissance has another talented guard out of their program by the name of Justin Turner (Central Michigan offer), while Detroit East English Village Prep might have the best shooter in the state in Karmari Newman. Winston’s backcourt partner at U-D Jesuit, Billy Thomas, might have something to say about that statement, as he is also deadly shooting the ball. 

Detroit has always been know as a tough, and rugged city, so naturally its ball players are too. He’ll never be the biggest player out on the floor at 5-foot-11, but Henry Ford point guard James Towns is super athletic, and attacks the rim like no other. Hailing from Linwood Avenue, Northwestern combo guard Terrance Sewell had no choice but to be tough, and you can see it in his game. Sort of like Dwayne Wade does, Sewell feeds off of the contact aspect of the game. 

Western’s Brailen Neely and Kareem Murray, Jakhal Thompson of Denby, Allen Academy’s Jason Williams, and Luster Johnson of Consortium are all guys in the class who have game as well.

The class of 2015 in the city isn’t quite as good as the underclassmen, but there is still lots of talent there. The Pershing Doughboys lost a lot from last year’s team, but its still Pershing, they always have over there on East Seven Mile Road and Ryan. Marquel Ingram is a typical Pershing guard, tough, and doesn’t back down. He’s tough on the defensive end, and doesn’t lack in the trash talk department.

Towns and sharp-shooter Josh Davis might form the best duo in the city at Henry Ford. Davis is a mismatch nightmare at his position at the high school level with his 6-foot-5 frame, and has numerous offers to back up his game. Cass Tech’s Rob Edwards may be the most underrated player in the state. He can jump out the gym, and his mid-range game is a step up above the rest. Armani Lee over at King could have a breakout senior year. He has played on varsity since he was a freshman, and has a great motor to go along with his 3-point shooting.

Josh McFolley reported transferred over to Western from Mt.Clemens, and will bring some much needed shooting and leadership to that team. Another transfer, Ted McCree, will also give Renaissance a boost in their backcourt. Ketquan Gatewood of Northwestern, Daniel Jeffries of Central, and Consortium’s Mykel Tyson are also some guys worth checking out.

Pershing has stumbled upon another Felder point guard. This time it’s Armonee Felder, a freshman for the Doughboys. His father and older brother, Kahlil Sr., and Kahlil Jr., were standouts at Pershing, and he is on track to keep that family name going strong. Cass Tech also has a good freshman big in Donnie Tillman, who also has good basketball genes. His brother,Clark Bishop, was a standout for Renaissance in 2013. 

Speaking of bigs, U-D Jesuit has two 6-foot-9 post players in Gregory Eboigbodi and Eke Ikechukwu II. Size kills in high school ball, and with the addition of those two in the post for the Cubs, could spell a long season for their opponents. East English Village Prep point guard Greg Elliott played a vital role on last year’s team as a freshman, and looks to possibly be a starter this year. Hopefully he has hit the buffet a few times, but his future is still bright.

Keon Epps over at Frederick Douglass, and Patrick Hatcher at Pershing will have bigger roles for their teams as sophomores.