Grand Rapids, MI: While many sports fans were at home in front of the TV screen watching the NFL wild card football games this past weekend, LBI was in Grand Rapids, MI watching our future young stars competing in the 6th Annual Drive to the Hoop Classic. This event, hosted by West Michigan Drive Director Larry Copeland, is the premier middle school event in the state of Michigan that attracts some of the top teams and players from the Midwest. Power clubs such as the Michigan Crossover, Always 100, MBA, Michigan Storm, Illinois X-Citement, Michigan Mystics, West Michigan Drive and many more showed everyone in attendance that the future is bright in the Midwest.
Midwest Star Power
6'1" 2022 SF Mila Reynolds Michigan Crossover
When I say this kid made a good first impression, boy did she ever! The Hoosier state native crossed over the state line to play with her new team the Michigan Crossover and helped lead them to a championship this past weekend. She's a matchup nightmare as Reynolds played various positions on the court. She can score on the blocks and can step out and shoot the three. She also held her own on the defensive end as she is tough, a good rebounder and outlet passer. Looking forward to watching her growth over the next few years as she will be one of the top players from the Hoosier state.
6'2" 2022 SF Ayanna Patterson Always 100 (IN)
Another kid from the Hoosier state that has star power written all over her. Patterson is a long, athletic wing that can handle the ball in the open court and with her excellent jumping ability finishes above the rim. She showed a beautiful shot from the mid-range area, but she did most of her damage off the dribble and in transition. She's an excellent rebounder and shot blocker as she times them very well, and she does so without fouling. She will be high on a lot of BCS Schools recruiting boards.
5'9" 2022 CG Camille Jackson Illinois X-Citement (IL)
Jackson is no stranger to many of the top evaluators across the country as she has been on the scene for quite some time. The talented Jackson didn't disappoint us in Grand Rapids this past weekend as she continues to dominate anytime that she steps on the court. She showed an explosive first step when attacking off the dribble and finished through contact and also showed off her passing ability as she made several pinpoint passes to open teammates. Jackson is the ultimate team player that makes everyone around her better.
5'10" 2022 CG Ruby Whithorne Michigan Crossover
One of the most versatile players in Grand Rapids was Whitehorne. She did whatever was needed on the court for her team to win. You needed a bucket; she got it. You needed a defensive stop, rebound or assist; she got it. She does a lot of things that don't show up on the stat sheet that many kids at her age are not willing to do, which makes her tough on both ends of the court.
5'7" PG 2022 Mya Petticord Michigan Storm
Petticord was the most skilled offensive player that I saw this past weekend. She has a tight handle that allowed her to get to any spot on the floor that she needed to get to. Petticord finished at the rim or with a floater and she displayed a sweet stroke from deep as she can shoot it off the dribble very well. Petticord is very mature for her age on the court. She is another player from the Motor City that has a chance to be a very special scorer.
Drive To the Hoop Classic Impact Players
6’0” PF 2022 Hannah Toutant Michigan Mystics
Hannah is long, durable, and sturdy. She was very active on the boards. In the semifinal and championship matchups against Always 100 and Michigan Crossover, Hannah’s play was vital to keeping the games close. She blocked multiple shots and altered a few others. She got her team extra possessions by crashing the offensive boards, earning herself and her team second-chance opportunities that kept in the games. She is the poster child for the grit and competitiveness the Mystics played with all weekend.
5'9" 2023 SG Amiyah Reynolds Michigan Crossover
Amiyah is an extremely versatile young player. Offensively, she was able to play point guard, wing, and high post. Defensively, she was able to guard those same spots. Her length and athleticism allowed her to grab some crucial rebounds for a Michigan Crossover team that finished 2nd in the 7th-grade division. Her best attributes may be her willingness and ability to move the ball and set up others for good shots. When she adds strength, she could be the coveted big point guard many teams are looking for.
5'0" 2024 PG Devin "Pooter" Hageman Michigan Crossover
Fast, fast, and faster! Pooter has a high motor and is fearless attacking the basket. She used in-and-outs, crossovers, and behind-the-back dribble attacks to knife through presses. She finished well around the basket too. You couldn't see her body amongst the defenders, but you could see the ball go through the net. Hageman is a 6th grader, but she held her own against the much taller and bigger 7th graders and trust me, no one on the court had more heart.
5'7" 2023 PG Macy Brown Michigan Basketball Academy
Arguably the best '23 in the gym, but hands down, the top performer in her grade. Macy is tough and skilled which is a very deadly combination. The lefty was the engine for the MBA offense. She was virtually unstoppable driving left. All of her 3 point makes in the championship win over a talented Michigan Crossover team were nothing but net, did not even hit the rim, and I am not exaggerating. Detroit natives are familiar with Mr. Big Shot, Chauncey Billups, and his heroics. Well, Macy Brown was Ms. Big Shot for Michigan Basketball Academy, the Drive to the Hoop Classic 7th grade champs!
6’0” 2023 Post Brianna McCloed Brampton Warriors (Canada)
McCloed had a good weekend on the defensive end of the floor. She didn’t do too much on the offensive end, and the young post player didn’t let that affect her play. Brianna ran the floor like she was supposed to, rebounded and blocked or contested every shot attempt that came her way. The Canadian displayed a positive attitude throughout the weekend which helped her team reach the semifinals. McCloed is a kid that will improve her overall skill set and when she does…..watch out.
5’9” 2023 SF Macey Fegan Saginaw Triple Threat
Another versatile player that was solid in the few games that we watched her play. She handled the ball well in the open floor as she made the right decisions while leading the break. Fegan did a lot of damage on the offensive boards as she scored on many putbacks and even knocked down a few perimeter jumpers. Macey also was solid on the defensive end as she used her length and athletic ability to disrupt her defender and play the passing lanes.
5’8” 2022 SG Taniah Jackson Michigan Storm
Jackson brings a true 3D type of feel for the game! She contributed on both levels for the Storm. She has a motor that just keeps her going on both ends. Defensively, did a great job stopping guards from penetrating with her stifling defense around the horn. Offensively, she was able to connect from range as she hit shot after shot. She will likely be the glue for this team as she guarded the opponent’s best player in each game, she also kept the ball in play by rebounding for second-chance points on the glass.
5’6” 2022 SG Faith Owens Always 100 (IN)
I could not understand the life of me, how teams left her open. She absolutely made teams pay in each and every Always 100 game. In her game against the Michigan Crossover, Owens connected on four threes in the first half and six total. Her stock will elevate if she adds some type of attacking archetype to her game.
5’6” 2022 PG J’Asia Scott Always 100 (IN)
Playing with arguably a top 10 player in the country, and a very efficient shooter, most coaches would be happy enough with that. However, Always 100 also is equipped with a point guard in that does a great job facilitating the offense and anchoring the defense as well. J’Asia is capable of scoring the ball but she loved to penetrate gaps and draw defenders to find her teammates for better looks.
Michigan Crossover Drive To The Hoop Classic 8th Grade Champs
MBA Drive To The Hoop Classic 7th Grade Champs