• Michigan

Taking His Chances On Himself – Mr. Basketball Chansey Willis, Jr. Heading To SVSU

By: SCOTT BURNSTEIN, June 8, 2022, 6:31 am

Detroit King two-sport superstar Chansey Willis, Jr. is taking a chance.He’s betting on himself. Those who are familiar with his body of work are quite confident the bet will pay-off in a major way.

The reigning Mr. Basketball and all-state wide receiver has committed to play hoops at the next level for Saginaw Valley State out of the tough-as-nails GLIAC. Perfect fit, right? It doesn’t get any more nails tough than this young man.





The dynamic 6-2 floor general will become the first Mr. Basketball winner to ink with a DII college program out of high school. Muskegon’s Deshuan Thrower finished his career in the DII ranks at Ferris State, but started at tiny DI Stoney Brook after leading the Big Reds to a state title as a senior point guard in 2014. Thrower was also a football star and played both sports while at Ferris State in the late 2010s.

Willis won the Detroit PSL crown this past winner on the hardwood. He averaged nearly a triple double, dotting the stat sheet for 25 points, 9.5 assists and 9.5 rebounds per game. Gatorade named him Player of the Year for the state of Michigan, His Crusaders’ football squad won a state championship and he played big as usual under the bright lights, making 4 catches for 111 yards receiving in the 2021 Division 3 finals and King’s 25-21 defeat of DeWitt back in November.

Kudos to Saginaw Valley State for snagging his commitment. The electricity he is set to bring to the Sagnasty will light up all of 1-75, from the Zilwaukee Bridge all the way back down to Willis’ home in the D. Willis is a gem and certainly the biggest recruiting coup in SVSU Cardinals history. Head coach Randy Baruth’s Cards club went 19-11 in 2022.

Willis could have easily gone the DI route of his Mr. Basketball predecessors, University of Detroit-Mercy, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Siena, Rider and North Carolina A&T all offered. If he had so chosen, making his intention known to recruiters, he would have been a top-flight football recruit, most-likely grabbing a DI scholarship.

Instead, Willis will head to SVSU with expectations to dominate. I suspect he will. And fast. One thing’s for sure though, he’s one of the best athletes to ever pass through the storied PSL and his impact he made on both the basketball court and football field will never be forgotten.