Blogs > Burney's Bites

Burney's Bites will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bonus Bytes - A Gentleman and a Scholar

We already knew that Birmingham Seaholm's Richaud Pack was a great basketball player – 29 points per game, scholarship to Florida International – and a great student (4.0 grade point average), but on Monday he showed what a big heart he has and what a true gentleman he is when he went to Chicago to attend the funeral of his future college coach, Isaiah Thomas's mother, Mary. On his return to the state, he dropped a triple-double of 28 points, 11 boards, and 10 dimes, in the Maples 85-72 defeat of Berkley.
Burney wishes Greg Ganfield - gone to GR Forrest Hills Northern - would have stayed a little longer as Pontiac's football coach. He was in the process of building something very special with the Phoenix and I just hope it continues in his absence.
I can't decide which team got itself a more needed win on Tuesday, Pontiac with its triumph over North Farmington or OL St. Mary's with its besting of UofD-Jesuit in OT?
Rich Rod and Mark D'Antonio are licking their chops with the recent recruiting free-up of St. Mary's Ernest "The Furnace" Thomas, a onetime UCLA signee. Both UofM and MSU would be greatly benefited by the landing of this high-ceiling talent. Thomas has just recently grown into his adult body and has gotten better each year on the gridiron playing for the powerhouse Eaglets. Although a star running back this past football season, Thomas is projected as a safety in the college ranks.
They don't have much natural athletic talent, but there are not many teams in the state, nor probably the entire nation, that play as hard nosed and gritty as head coach Bill Dyer's Novi Detroit Catholic Central Shamrocks boys hoops squad. Last season, CC advanced to the CHSL tourney final and the Class A Elite Eight on pure will and timely-playmaking from a cadre of cash-money seniors – Tim Dezelski, Brett Smith, Jamie Morris, and Steve Harding. This season, decimated by graduation, Dyer's squad has stayed more than competitive bringing back just one returning starter. The Shamrocks opened the season 4-2. Juniors Shea Kettner and Kyle Cooper (both reserves last year) embody the CC hoops mentality to the fullest and have been carrying on the torch left by the '09 class. Kettner went for a career-high 25 points in a game against arch rival Brother Rice last Friday night. Cooper had 12 points and eight rebounds in the game.
A quick programming reminder for all you prep fiends: Every afternoon between 3 and 5 PM the Comcast TV network (channel 900 on most digital boxes in the county) shows MHSA state final classics from the past. For instance, on Thursday afternoon, the Birmingham Detroit County Day-Albion 1997 Class B boys basketball state final game, was replayed. The '97 title team, current 'Jackets head coach, Kurt Keener's 6th state championship banner, was captained by Shane Battier (Duke/Houston Rockets) and included future NFL player Javin Hunter (Notre Dame/Baltimore Ravens), and future college stars, David Webber (Central Michigan), David Manciel (Central Michigan), and Mike Knight (Albion).


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