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Detroit Cornerstone eager to explore new horizons on hardwood

By: Scott Burnstein, December 22, 2014, 11:00 pm

Detroit – The idea is unique and could be trend-setting.

Detroit Cornerstone’s boys basketball program is a member of the MHSAA this season, it’s first in existence. Next season, on the other hand, might be a different story.

Jason McGowan, Cornerstone’s coach, envisions his program eventually, maybe as early as next year, leaving the ranks of the MHSAA and playing a “prep school-type” schedule, traveling the country squaring off against other high-profile non-state regulated squads instead of playing a normal schedule against other local teams.

“The MHSAA is old-school, we want to be new-school,” he said. “The idea is to get kids as much exposure as possible so they can earn scholarships to college. That’s the ultimate goal for us.”

McGowan starred in high school in the PSL at Detroit Cooley (Class of 1999) and then went on to play in college at Kentucky State University. He previously was the coach at Detroit University Prep and an assistant at Detroit Renaissance.

Cornerstone (officially known as Cornerstone Health & Technology) is a start-up charter school located on Outer Driver right off the Southfield Expressway and has less than 300 students.

The basketball team competes in the Michigan Metro Conference and is 2-1, however, will not be allowed to participate in the Class D state tournament.  Due to being a first-year program, Cornerstone’s campaign is dubbed “probationary” by the MHSAA, according to McGowan.

If they were allowed to participate in March Madness 2015, McGowan’s club probably would be a team to be reckoned with. Cornerstone boasts a pair of sophomores that are beggining to get looks by Division I college-recruiters in 6-foot-6 forward Hasan (Jamal) Cain and 6-foot-5 swingman Derrick Jamerson.

Cain is an athletic wing who likes to crash the glass. Jamerson is a sweet-stroking 3-point assassin. They both went to Melvindale ABT last year as freshman and are averaging over 20 points per game apiece so far this year.

“This is a good group of guys, we can make some noise before this season is done,” McGowan said. “They’re not recognized yet as players and we’re not recognized yet as a team, but we will be. We’re pretty confident of that.”

The possibility of Cornerstone leaving the MHSAA and embarking on its’ own path in the near future is bolstered by the fact that the school via backers has pledged a travel budget to the basketball program when and if it is needed.