DETROIT, Michigan — The U-16 Mid-Michigan Lakers escaped pool play unblemished for the second straight tournament, this time in Metro Detroit. The Lakers won their first game in the gold bracket of the Great Lakes Classic against Common Bond before falling in one of the most exciting AAU games I’ve ever watched.
The Lakers gave All-Michigan everything it could handle and more, leading by as many as 10 in the second half against a bigger, stronger and more athletic team. All-Michigan is the only team in Michigan to have defeated the U-16 Team Detroit, led by future D-1 guards Man-Man Morris and Denzel Watts.
The Lakers ‘J.D. Tisdale was absolutely unstoppable on the offensive end, scoring 28 points and dishing out eight assists. Tisdale, along with fast forwards Zeshawn Parker-Jones and Rayshon Thomas, did the bulk of the heavy lifting on offense for the Lakers aided by outstanding floor games from Cullen Turczyn and Max Cummings.
This was another weekend full of great performances as a team. Speaking for Coach Miller and Coach Brouwer, I can say that this team has been an absolute pleasure to be around. You guys have improved every day as players and as a team. Remember what Coach Miller told you: Make the most of every opportunity to be a part of something special.
Good teammates become good citizens and successful adults. I’m confident that all of you are learning a great life lesson this season. You don’t have to win to be a winner. How you handle defeat, adversity and conflict says more about your character than how you handle success. This principle was expressed to me a long time ago in book, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
In your career you may never beat the best; but, when you have the opportunity to play with the best, you better see it through to the end. That’s why your parents and coaches were so proud of you, even in defeat.
U-17: Nic Stoll (Holly)
U-16: J.D. Tisdale (Flint Northern) and Zeshawn Parker-Jones (Lapeer West)
U-15: Marquavian Stephens, (Swartz Creek)
Five for Fighting (fighting for rebounds, loose balls, stops and playing time)
1.) Max Cummings, Swartz Creek (U-16)
2.) Cullen Turcyzn, Lapeer West (U-16)
3.) Jarod Jones, Swartz Creek (U-17)
4.) Rayshon Thomas, IAF (U-16)
5.) Mark Cox, Lapeer West (U-15)