Verbeek signs with Holy Cross, GR Christian hires a new boys hoop coach
Grandville Calvin Christian center Blake Verbeek signed with Holy Cross this week. The versatile 6-11 Verbeek was a first-team all-state pick in Class C and is the top post recruit left on the board for the state’s senior class. He averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds per game this past winter, while also shooting close to 45 percent from 3-point range and nearly 90 percent from the free throw line. Holy Cross, located in Massachusetts, is a Division I program out of the Patriot League. Verbeek is the second player from the state to sign with a Patriot League school in the past seven days, following in the footsteps of Jenison’s Jacob Boonyasith (shooting guard), who penned a letter of intent with American University early last week.
Grand Rapids Covenant Christian senior forward Carson Meulenberg (6-6) will play his hoops at the next level at Calvin College. Back in the winter, he captained Covenant Christian to an appearance in the Class C semifinals, where his club fell to eventual state champion Detroit Edison. Meulenberg concluded his prep career valiantly, totally 12 points and 12 boards in the 55-43 loss to Edison.
Just over a year removed from advancing into the Class A state final, Grand Rapids Christian has changed coaches. Earlier this month, Mark Warners resigned and last week he was replaced by his assistant Eric Taylor, a former Division II All-America at Oakland University in the 1990s. Taylor was on Warner’s staff the previous four seasons. Before that, he was the head women’s coach at Grand Rapids Community College. He’s currently the Dean of Students at Christian.
Westside Player Power Rankings – Burney’s Top 5
1 Carlos “Scooby” Johnson (Benton Harbor F)
2 Nolan Foster (Mattawan C)
3 Javian Fowler (GR Union F)
4 Mykel Bingham (GR Catholic Central F)
5 Jamoni Jones (East Kentwood G)
Player to watch: Two-sport stud Billie Roberts (Muskegon), considered a high-major defensive end prospect on the gridiron as only a sophomore