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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Chandler Park’s O’Brien commits to LIU hoops, Alma’s Leister heading to Wayne State

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, August 8, 2020, 2:31 pm

Only fitting, surely, that “Biggie” is headed to the Big Apple.

Harper Woods Chandler Park point guard Emaia “Biggie” O’Brien announced her commitment to Long Island University Brooklyn Saturday afternoon with a video on Twitter.

As a junior, the 5-foot-1 O’Brien earned honorable mention Division 2 all-state honors from The Associated Press, BCAM’s Best honors from the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan and first-team All-East honors from the Detroit News.

O’Brien led Chandler Park to an 18-6 record and a ninth Charter School Conference tournament title in 10 seasons last year. The Eagles won nine straight games at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, and were in the D2 regional finals against Wixom St. Catherine when the campaign was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The LIU Sharks are an NCAA Division I program formed after a 2019 merger between the former D-II athletic programs at LIU-Brooklyn (Blackbirds) and LIU-Post (Pioneers), and compete in the Northeast Conference.

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Alma’s Leister headed to Wayne State

Alma High School shooting guard Alyssa Leister (2021) announced her commitment to Wayne State on Twitter Friday.

A three-sport star (softball, volleyball) Leister earned honorable mention Division 2 all-state basketball honors from The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press, and BCAM’s Best honors from the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan. 

The Panthers went 9-12 in the 2019-20 season, bowing out to Portland in the D2 district semifinals. 

When she suits up for the Warriors after next season, Leister will be the fifth current or former collegiate athlete in her immediate family. Older sister Hailey plays softball and basketball at Division II Northwood, while mom Michelle played at Alma College. Dad John played baseball and football at Michigan State, quarterbacking the Spartans in the early 1980s, and earning a couple of cups of coffee with the Boston Red Sox, while Alyssa’s older brother Jarrett played football at Ferris State and Alma.