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STATE CHAMPS SCOUT TEAM: Michigan basketball recruiting notebook >> Rakiyah Beal continues DEPSA pipeline to colleges, picking North Dakota; recruiting heats up for Flushing’s Sarah Rambus 

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, July 18, 2021, 2:51 pm

There’s a well-established pipeline of talent from the Detroit Edison girls basketball program, headed to mid- and high-major women’s basketball programs.

And there’s starting to be a pipeline of players headed from Michigan to North Dakota, as well.

The Hawks picked up another big-name addition from the Mitten early in July, when DEPSA’s Rakiyah Beal announced her commitment to the program. 

“I want to thank my DEPSA and Crossover FAMILY (coaches, teammates, parents) for simply ALWAYS being more than just coaches, more than just teammates and more than just parents of my teammates,” Beal wrote in part of her announcement on Twitter. “We’ve always operated as a family, and that’s something I’d never forget. You guys make me believe in myself and I appreciate everything put into getting me here.”

The 6-foot guard is ranked as the No. 34 backcourt player in the nation in the 2022 class, and a four-star recruit by ESPN’s HoopGurlz rankings. She chose the Fighting Hawks from an offer list that included St. Johns, Temple, West Virginia, Illinois, Xavier, Eastern Michigan and DePaul.

Once she gets to Grand Forks, ND, Beal will join a couple more players from Southeast Michigan, in Hartland guard Amanda Roach (2022), as well as Wayne Memorial grad Sammiyah Hoskin (2019), who transferred to UND after the debacle at University of Detroit Mercy. 

The Hawks recently offered Beal’s 2024 teammate, Myana Cooksey, as well.

The key connection? Haslett native and Michigan grad John Motherwell, UND’s assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator, who began his coaching career with stints in the high school ranks at Lansing Waverly, Williamston and Dryden, before eventually becoming head coach at Division III Finlandia in the UP.  

DEPSA’s deep 2022 class includes Beal, DePaul commit Madisen Wardell and uncommitted five-star recruit Ruby Whitehorn.

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Pursuit of Rambus heating up

The recruiting of Flushing’s 2023 big Sarah Rambus has blown up in July. 

As of May 14, she had 10 offers, her last at that point a bid from a Missouri State staff that includes former Freeland High School star and Michigan State’s all-time leading scorer, Tori Jankoska, as well as one from Jankoska’s alma mater, MSU. 

Since the start of July, that total has more than doubled, with the 6-foot-3 Rambus — who plays for Michigan Crossover EYBL — picking up 15 offers between July 13 and July 15, at the rate of two or three per day. That run includes bids from Oklahoma State, Howard, DePaul, Oakland, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Auburn, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Minnesota and Mississippi State.  

Rambus helped Flushing to a Flint Metro League Stripes Division title and a 15-3 record as a sophomore. 

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Offers of note

Rambus isn’t the only one hauling in the bids in July. Here are a few notable offers (by no means a comprehensive list) over the last few weeks (in alphabetical order):

Paris Bass, Wayne Memorial (2023) — Illinois

MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City (2024) — Grand Valley State

Kennedy Blair, Dearborn Divine Child (2023) — Eastern Michigan

Na’Kiya Bonner, Detroit Edison (2024) — Howard

Macy Brown, East Grand Rapids (2023) — Iowa

Myana Cooksey, Detroit Edison (2024) — North Dakota, Howard and Nebraska-Omaha

Indya & Summer Davis, West Bloomfield (2024) — Marquette

McKenna Ferguson, Byron Center (2023) — Wayne State

Devin Hagemann, Detroit Edison (2024) — Michigan State and DePaul

Mayla Ham, Wayne Memorial (2023) — Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Sydney Hendrix, West Bloomfield (2023) — Bradley and Xavier

Emma Kerkau, Frankenmuth (2022) — Rochester University

Alexa Kolnytis, Midland Dow (2022) — Davenport University 

Davai Matthews, Wayne Memorial (2022) — Eastern Michigan

Gracey Metz, Hartland (2022) — Rochester University

Zar’ria Mitchell, Saginaw Heritage (2023) — Ferris State

Abbey Rey, Midland Dow (2022) — Lawrence Tech

Mckenzie Anne Swanson, Birmingham Marian (2024) — Oakland and Nebraska-Omaha

Ruby Whitehorn, Detroit Edison (2022) — Texas A&M

Lily Zeinstra, Byron Center (2024) — Michigan State and Toledo

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Recent commitments:

Mary Lengemann, Imlay City (2022) — Daytona Beach 

Hannah Schroeder, Allendale (2022) — Northwood

Ellie Toney, Corunna (2022) — Davenport