YPSILANTI (CCN) — Ypsi Prep Academy star Emoni Bates has been nominated for the Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Player of the Year award. He is among five finalists.
Also up for the award are Chet Holmgren of Minnesota Coronado, Nevada star Jaden Hardy, Duke commit Paolo Banchero of Seattle O’Dea and Auburn commit Jabari Smith Jr. of Sandy Creek in Georgia.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the five finalists competing for the honor which will be revealed on March 10. The Prep Coach of the Year will be announced a day earlier.
Bates, a 6-foot-9 forward who has committed to Michigan State, is already a two-time winner of the Associated Press Michigan Player of the Year award and a two-time winner of the Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year accolades and was last season's National Gatorade Player of the Year. He's averaging 23 points per game for Ypsi Prep and has led the new prep school to a 7-3 record against national competition. He is also averaging 5.8 rebounds per game, 3.0 assists per game and 2.2 steals per contest.
Bates left Ypsilanti Lincoln after leading the team to a Class A state championship as a freshman and helping the Railsplitters become one of the state's best teams again last season before COVID-19 caused Governor Gretchen Whitmer to shut down the state tournament. Bates averaged 28.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game as a freshman when Ypsilanti Lincoln was 23–4 en route to its state title. As a sophomore, he averaged 32.3 points per game to go with averaging 9.0 rebounds per game, 3.0 assists and 2.1 steals per contest.
Bates appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated after his freshman campaign with photos of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James.
LANSING (CCN) — Mick McCabe revealed in a special report to The Detroit Free Press in its Thursday (Dec. 3, 2020) online edition that the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is appealing its case to play ball to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her Department of Health and Human Services.
MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl told McCabe that MHSAA officials have been in consistent contact with county health department officials in regard to COVID-19 cases related to sports. “What we’ve heard from at least a half dozen different county health department officials over and over is the virus was not being spread during the school day,” Uyl was quoted in the Free Press story as saying. “It was not being spread at practice and it wasn’t being spread at games, whether that be teammate to teammate, much less opponent to opponent and we’ve heard that from several different states, too.”
Michigan's DHHS director (Robert Gordon) issued a three-week pause to play by high schools in their fall state tournaments while also shutting down gyms, ice rinks, bowling alleys, bars and indoor dining at restaurants. The DHHS action was done after the governor's shutdown actions last March were ruled unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court when Republicans in the state legislature filed a lawsuit because the Democrat governor acted without consulting them. A lawsuit challenging the DHHS ruling was struck down by a federal judge earlier in the week.
Uhl noted, however, to the Detroit Free Press that although data shows COVID-19 cases on the rise across the state, it's not because of sports. Uyl said the spread of the coronavirus among high school students occurs mainly in social settings such as parties and not at school events.
MHSAA data shows high school athletics have not been super-spreading events for athletes with more than 95% of scheduled high school football games being played this season. “We’ve had a couple of weeks where 98% and 99% of the football games were played, “ Uyl told the Free Press. “We’ve had 95%-plus through the six weeks of the regular season and the first three rounds of the (state) playoffs.” Uyl noted that the numbers are even better in the other fall sports.
Uyl and other MHSAA officials appealed their case to the governor's office staff and Michigan's DHHS officials during a virtual call earlier this week.
The shutdown is scheduled to end on Dec. 9. The action caused the MHSAA to pause playoffs in volleyball and girls swimming and diving, in addition to football action. Three weeks remain in the 11-player football playoffs while two weeks remain in the 8-player playoffs. Only one week remains in the state volleyball tournament and just one day is left in girls' swimming and diving.
MyAMAdvantage reported that Governor Whitmer said during a press conference earlier this week that no decisions have yet been made about extending the DHHS shutdown. She said, "I think it’s important for people to know we have not predetermined anything. It’s going to be driven where we see the numbers.”
LANSING (CCN) — The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has approved an adjusted schedule to restart and conclude its fall state tournaments in football, volleyball and girls' swimming & diving. The council will meet on Dec. 4 to discuss altering state tournament start dates for winter sports which will now begin regular season competition on Jan. 4 after practices can begin on Dec. 9.
The Dec. 4 meeting is the council's annual fall meeting. The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or his or her designee.
The three-week “pause” in activity ordered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services because of COVID-19 concerns is scheduled to end on Dec. 9.
Girls in the volleyball and swimming & diving tournaments have one week remaining, with MHSAA Finals. The 11-player and 8-player football playoffs also are nearing their conclusions, with the 8-player postseason two games from completion and 11-player down to its final three rounds. Winter practices for all but boys basketball, bowling, skiing and wrestling had also already begun for high school teams.
Volleyball has now rescheduled its MHSAA quarterfinals in all four divisions to Tuesday, Dec. 15 with semifinals now set for Dec. 17-18 and the finals on Saturday, Dec. 19. The final two rounds would be played at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena.
All three lower peninsula finals for girls' swimming & diving would be conducted on Tuesday, Dec. 22 for diving competition and on Wednesday, Dec. 23 for swimming with three high schools each hosting one meet. This allows for a two-week practice window for all participating swimmers who previously met and entered qualification times, and for divers who previously qualified at their respective regional tournaments.
Football's 11-player regional finals and 8-player semifinals would be played on Tuesday, Dec. 15 and Wednesday Dec. 16 under the revised format. The 11-player semifinals and 8-player finals would be played Dec. 21-22. The 8-player championship games will be at Midland Community Stadium while the 11-player championship games will be played on Monday, Dec. 28 and Tuesday Dec. 29 at Ford Field in Detroit.
“We understand where COVID numbers were trending, and that’s why we have been supportive of the order to pause,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “But these Fall sports deserve closure, and this strategy provides the best opportunities without further interruptions to a normal course of training and competition. A very small percentage of our teams remain active in our fall tournaments, also limiting potential exposure to the virus across the state. Meanwhile, by waiting until January to begin winter competition, the (MHSAA Regional) Council is allowing our teams to continue activity but also restricting the mixing of communities to further promote reducing COVID spread.”
LANSING (CCN) — Classifications for next year's Michigan High School Athletic Association post-season tournaments have been announced, including football divisions determined preseason for the first time since 1998 Enrollment breaks for postseason tournaments are posted to each sport’s page on the MHSAA Web Site. READ MORE
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