In the last few months, we have seen quite a few Michigan high school basketball players make the decision to transfer and take their talents to another state. Just last week, Detroit Cass Tech (Mich.) 2017 forward Donnie Tillman announced his decision to transfer to Findlay Prep in Nevada and Detroit Consortium (Mich.) 2016 forward Josh Jackson announced that he will be transferring to Justin-Siena in California.
Well for those who though the saga was over, trust me it’s not because two more Michigan high school basketball players have decide to transfer and take their talent elsewhere.
The first one being Southfield Christian (Mich.) 2015 point guard Bakari Evelyn who is reportedly transferring to Gilbert Christian in Arizona, to play his senior basketball season. Evelyn announced the news on Twitter.
Just like Tillman and Jackson, the state of Michigan will be sad to see Evelyn go. Last season, Evelyn was one half of Southfield Christian’s dynamic duo, the other half of the incredible duo was former Detroit Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter’s son, Lindsey Hunter IV. Together, they led Southfield Christian to a third consecutive Class D state championship last season, Evelyn scoring 28 points in the final.
Coming into Gilbert Christian, Evelyn will be playing under head coach Kurt Keener. If that name sounds familiar to you, it should because before becoming head coach of Gilbert Christian, Kenner coached at Birmingham Detroit Country Day, helping to lead them to nine state championships.
However, according to the Detroit Free Press, even though Keener has Detroit connections, he said he never reached out to Evelyn’s family to join him. In fact, Keener said that Evelyn’s family originally reached out to three-time defending Arizona Division I champion Tempe Corona del Sol. Nevertheless coach Keener says he thinks very highly of Evelyn and his ability to play division one basketball.
“He’s a very talented kid,” Keener said to the Detroit Free Press. “He’s a very good kid. He is certainly a Division I (college) prospect.”
Coach Keener isn’t the only one thinks very highly of Evelyn. Richard Obert of AZCentral Sports, recently put out his top 100 boys basketball 2015 prospects in Arizona list, ranking Evelyn at No. 41.
No. 41 Bakari Evelyn, Gilbert Christian, 6-2, PG: This Division I prospect twice made all-state in Michigan and last season led Southfield Christian in the Detroit area to a third consecutive Class D Michigan championship, scoring 28 points in the final. He instantly makes Gilbert Christian a state-title contender in Division II.
Overall, I am sad to see Evelyn go, but I wish him all the best during his time in Arizona.
The same goes for former Mount Clemens (Mich.) forward Tariiq Jones who has decided to transfer to Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, Texas and reclassify to the 2016 class. Branden Hunter of Rivals.com, reported the news on Twitter.
The talented forward is extremely athletic, and most scouts who have seen him in action have describe him as someone who loves to play above the rim and give opponents a hard time on the defensive side of the ball. Just last week, he earned his first division one offer from Fairfield and he will probably gain more offers during his time at Prime Prep.
Now for those who don’t know, Prime Prep Academy is a grouping of charter schools in Texas co-founded in 2012 by NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. who has also coached at the school.
However, most recently, the school is facing closure by the state. According to CBS Dallas/Fort Worth, the Texas Education Agency started the process of revoking the charter earlier in July. The agency accused the academy of mishandling about $45,000 for a meal program.
Despite concerns, last week, at a rally, school leaders reportedly told parents that they believe that the school will be allowed to stay open. Sanders was among the crowd that gathered to support the school.
School leaders at the rally said that they are focused on the year ahead. “The administration is moving forward,” said school official Leicha Shaver on Tuesday. “Plans are being made and our students are excited about it. Someone is here every day. Students are coming to enroll every day. We have students coming and asking about Prime Prep.”
But no details were given about how the charter school plans to move forward regarding the investigation.
Despite the accusations, school leaders said that they are in the process of expanding. “We are here. We are planning. Our students really had some huge successes last school year, so we really wanted to talk to parents about that,” Shaver added.
Since that time, Prime Prep Academy has requested an “informal review” or appeal of the Texas Education Agency’s efforts to revoke the school’s charter and according to CBS Dallas/Forth Worth, the Prime Prep Academy board plans to meet Monday to discuss its troubles.
The Prime Prep Academy board plans to meet Monday to discuss its troubles.
The board, which had to cancel it’s meeting on July 21st, is scheduled to discuss and possibly approve new bylaws as well as discuss its financial problems.
I don’t know about you but I will be watching this situation very closely and I’m sure Jones and his family will be as well, since he plans to attend Prime Prep for the 2014-15 school year.
Nevertheless, with the recent decisions of Evelyn and Jones, Steven Manrique of Prep Ball Report, tweeted that the number of Michigan high school players, who have decided to transfer out-of-state has now increase to a total of six players. Those six players being Bakari Evelyn, Tariiq Jones, Josh Jackson, Donnie Tillman, Billy Thomas and Jaire Graier.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.