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BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: UD Jesuit’s Thomas settles on Georgia State; Northview, Springport get new sideline bosses

By: Scott Burnstein, May 27, 2019, 5:00 pm

The ink had barely dried.

Detroit U-D Jesuit standout senior center Jalen Thomas signed with Georgia State in the hours before his high school graduation. Considered the top college prospect in the paint out of the Catholic League, the 6-foot-10 Thomas was previously headed to UMass until he changed directions after a 2019 campaign, in which UDJ won its seventh straight CHSL-Central championship and made it all the way to the Division 1 state finals.

Thomas averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks per game as a senior. When he was a freshman, he won a Class A state title with UDJ’s 2016 club, led by current All-Big Ten point guard Cassius Winston (Michigan State).

Georgia State has won four of the past six Sun Belt Conference championships and appeared in three NCAA Tournaments since 2015. Ron Hunter left for Tulane after the 2019 season and has been replaced by Rob Lanier, who locked down Thomas’ signing. Lanier is the former head man at Sienna and comes over from being an assistant at Tennessee.


News from the sidelines

David Chana has left Mona Shores to take the Grand Rapids Northview job and Derek Seidl got his first head coaching gig at Springport. Both are young rising stars in the profession.

The 23-year old Seidl ran the offense for Chelsea as an assistant last year. He prepped at Dexter and played in the backcourt at Lawrence Tech, graduating in 2018. Springport posted a 5-15 record back in the winter.

Chana, 31, spent one year on the bench at Mona Shores. Before that, he helmed the program at Kenowa Hills for three seasons. Northview went 18-5 and nabbed a Division 1 district crown in 2019.


What’s there to offer: The Scholarship 411

• Benton Harbor forward Carlos (Scooby) Johnson, one of the frontrunners for Mr. Basketball in 2020, was offered by Xavier.

• Detroit King guard Omar Zeigler (Class of 2021), a bulldog going to the basket, snagged a UI-Chicago offer.

• Hot-shooting Birmingham Brother Rice guard Jon Brantley (Class of 2020), the second-leading scorer in the Catholic League last year, picked up an offer from Lafayette.

• Underrated Detroit Cass Tech guard Kyle LeGreair (Class of 2020) got an offer from Mississippi Valley State and new head coach Lindsey Hunter, an assistant in the PSL at Detroit Renaissance this past season.