PONTIAC — Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy boys basketball coach Derrick Walton Sr. made sure his team watched as players from Detroit Country Day received their medals and a plaque after the Yellowjackets ended the Eagles’ season March 14 in a Class B regional final.
“I wanted them to see that,” Walton Sr. said. “I wanted it to stay in their minds that that’s where we want to be next year.”
This season, Chandler Park Academy advanced further than it ever has in the postseason, winning a district title, and had an overall 18-6 record while playing in a couple of a tough tournaments.
“We want to play the best competition, because that’s what you need to do if you want to beat the best competition,” Walton Sr. said.
The team loses four players to graduation this year, including three starters. It, however, should return 12 players.
Chandler Park Academy returns its starting backcourt — sophomore Labaron Stewart and junior Derrick Walton Jr.
Walton Jr., a 2013 University of Michigan commit, leads Chandler Park Academy’s offensive attack. Fred Jones, a backup guard, gives the Eagles depth in the backcourt.
Jordan Williams, a 6-foot-7-inch junior, and 6-foot-5-inch junior Tony Stallworth will see time in the post for Chandler Park Academy next season, according to Walton Sr. Juniors C’Sonte York and Charles Webb are expected to contribute next season, as well, he said.
“A lot of young guys got to play for us in the playoffs and see what pressure situations were like,” the Eagles’ coach said. “A lot of guys are gonna have the chance to step up for us. If we add some more pieces, good. If not, we’ll go with what we have.”
Chandler Park, a K-12 school located in Harper Woods and a member of the eight-school Detroit Charter School League, is made up players from throughout the tri-county area.