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BOYS BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Maten ready to relocate down south, Bloomfield Hills big fella picks Georgia

By: Scott Burnstein, April 6, 2014, 7:00 am

BLOOMFIELD HILLS – Shunning the Big Ten, Bloomfield Hills boys basketball star Yante Maten opted for the SEC.

Maten, a 6-foot-8 power forward and possibly the state’s most dominant player during the recently-concluded 2014 postseason, signed with Georgia of the SEC over the weekend, turning his back on offers from Big Ten schools, Michigan State and Indiana.

Texas Christian, Virginia Tech and Colorado were also in hot pursuit of his services.

Last month, Maten spearheaded his Bloomfield Hills squad on a magical run into the Class A state championship game (losing to undefeated Muskegon), on the shoulders of a string of glitzy doubles-doubles and triple-doubles in the playoffs.

During the regular season, he averaged 20 points, 16 rebounds, seven blocks and five assists per evening, upping his stat line to 24 points, 18 rebounds and eight swats a game in tournament action.

In its first year as a program, (precipitated by the school merger between Lahser and Andover), Bloomfield Hills and its’ blended team went 24-4, holding a state-ranking for a large chunk of the campaign. Before this season, no public school hailing from the city of Bloomfield Hills had ever gone past the regionals.

Despite being named Gatorade Player of the Year from the state, Maten was left off the Mr. Basketball-balloting and its Top 5 finalist list in February.

Michigan State and Indiana both offered him scholarships after the season was completed. Georgia extended its’ bid while Maten and the Black Hawks were in the midst of their tourney jaunt.

Head coach Mark Fox and his Georgia Bulldogs went 20-14 this winter.

Applying a full-court press after targeting Maten as a potential key member of their 2014 recruiting class, Fox or a member of his staff attended every one of Maten’s playoff games, giving the standout post prospect no doubts of their intense desire for his signature.

This was opposed to Indiana, which got in on Maten’s recruiting in the quarterfinals, (Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean watched him drop a 32-point, 18-rebounds, 10-block effort in a 74-68 win over Warren Mott at Calihan Hall), and Michigan State that only came to see him play once in the postseason (in the districts) and was the last to offer.

A four-year varsity-starter, Maten helped lead Lahser to back-to-back league and district titles as a sophomore and junior in 2012 and 2013 respectively.