Published January 17, 2011

As boys basketball teams dive into division action across the Macomb Area Conference, Utica High knows it will have its work cut out for it.

The Chieftains play in the MAC White Division — a league that is quickly being tabbed as one of the most competitive and deep around.

“It seems no matter who you talk to, every coach from every division is stating how talented the White Division is,” Utica coach Gerry Kraemer said.

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Published January 17, 2011

At first, West Bloomfield High boys basketball coach Jeremy Denha threw it out there half-jokingly.

Learning that he had gotten the job to lead the Lakers, Denha called his old high school coach, Jim Barker, and asked him to join the staff.

Denha played for Barker, a Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Hall of Fame coach, in the late 1990s at Utica Ford II.

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Published January 17, 2011

LATHRUP VILLAGE — The burden of loss still lingered, an unavoidable consequence of a brutal week.

Hearts were heavy, having been exhausted by loss and tested by faith.
But for now, the tears have stopped.

In this gym, on a cold, January afternoon, smiles had returned.

Basketballs bounced off the hardwood as the players’ emotions continued their long rebound back to normalcy, or something close to it.

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