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PREP SPORTS REPORT: Padla to MSU, Thrower chooses cage route, more

By: Scott Burnstein, September 12, 2013, 9:00 am

News and notes from around the state;

Nick of time

Berrien Springs senior football standout Nick Padla committed to Michigan State over the weekend.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive lineman enjoyed his attendance at Michigan State’s 21-6 win over South Florida so much, he pledged his allegiance to head coach, Mark Dantonio and the Spartans on the spot.

Padla is considered a three-star prospect by most scouting services and a Top 25 player the in the state.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play at MSU and I’m very happy to be turning that dream into a reality,” he said. “Everything about the football program and the school is the ultimate package for me.”

The commitment of Padla gives the Spartans 15 commits for their Class of 2014 recruiting crop. A half dozen of those commitments spawn from in-state high schools.

In addition to Michigan State, Padla had scholarship offers from BCS schools Illinois and Cincinnati and Akon, Kent State and Bowling Green from the mid-major ranks.

So far this fall, Padla and his Berrien Springs squad is 1-1.

Romancing the stone

One of the state’s top two-sport stars, Muskegon’s Deshaun Thrower decided his future was on the basketball floor this week, accepting a scholarship to play Division I hoops at Stony Brook University out of New York.

Thrower a 6-foot-2 point guard, averaged 18 points, six assists and four rebounds per game last winter as a junior, taking the Big Red to a Class A regional crown and an appearance in the state’s Elite 8.

During the fall sports campaign, he’s a dangerous dual-threat under center quarterbacking Muskegon’s state-power football team, currently 2-0 and trying to advance into its second straight Division 3 state championship game.

Entering Week 3, Thrower has scored eight touchdowns and the Big Red is fresh off a 35-13 thrashing of defending Division 3 state champion Grand Rapids Christian.

Stony Brook has a strong men’s basketball program and went 25-8 last season.

A trip to the park

I’m being told that former NBA player Jermaine Jackson has taken the helm as the new boys basketball coach at Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy, in the wake of all-state floor general Derrick Walton Jr. (Michigan) and Derrick Walton, Sr. (head coach) departing.

Under the Waltons, Chandler Park became a Class B powerhouse.

Jackson had been on the bench at Mt. Clemens.

He was an all-state prepster himself locally at Detroit Finney and then an all-league pick in college in the area at the University of Detroit-Mercy, prior to a 10 pro career that included several stops in the NBA, including a stretch with his hometown Detroit Pistons.

Jackson’s son, Jermaine, Jr. is one of the best incoming freshmen in the state, having already earned Division I scholarship offers before playing his first game in high school.

Logic would dictate that “Little Jermaine” will follow his dad to Chandler Park, allowing the program to not miss a beat in the category of stellar point guards.

Adios Andre?

Word is circulating that Detroit Douglas basketball star Andre Frederick is out of the state right now in Connecticut and might not be coming back for his senior season with the Hurricanes in a couple of months.

Frederick, a 6-foot-8 center, committed to Robert Morris over the summer.

If the big fella doesn’t return this winter, Douglas still stands to be quite formidable on the hardwood, headlined by Darrell Davis (Dayton) and Terrell Hales (Cleveland State).