Madison Heights Lamphere boys basketball coach Sam Hines III is pictured with players earlier this season. Hines is in his first season leading Lamphere’s program.

Madison Heights Lamphere boys basketball coach Sam Hines III is pictured with players earlier this season. Hines is in his first season leading Lamphere’s program.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

Lamphere boys basketball led by new coach

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published January 11, 2019


MADISON HEIGHTS — Madison Heights Lamphere’s boys basketball has been part of the Macomb Area Conference since the 2004-05 season.

From that season up until the last one, the program went 50-244 overall and has yet to win a division championship in the MAC.

In fact, Lamphere has not had a winning season since joining the conference.

However, every season provides a fresh start for each team.

Lamphere coach Sam Hines III is part of the Rams’ fresh start, as he is in his first season leading the program.

Last season, Hines was an assistant coach on a New Haven High team that finished 26-1 overall and made it all the way to the semifinal round of the Class B playoffs. He was also the JV head coach for that program.

“I was blessed with the opportunity to coach Lamphere High School,” Hines said. “I took the opportunity to join a great community. … It’s a great program. … I was ecstatic because I know this is a great community and a great school to be involved with.”

After finishing with an overall record of 2-20 last season, the Rams have already surpassed their win total from last year, as at press time, they were 3-6 overall and 0-3 in the MAC Bronze.

The team’s improved record from last season probably isn’t a big surprise to Hines, as he has seen something in his squad that could lead to better things for the program in the future.

“We have some really great guys returning (who are) really trying to lead,” Hines said. “I think our potential can be great. It’s just about competing, and working hard day in and day out.”

While any coach can use talent, given what Lamphere’s program has gone through in recent years, perhaps even more important than that are the intangibles Hines has been getting from his players.

“I’m very pleased with how they’re working hard, they’re learning and they’re accepting coaching,” he said. “It’s a great thing when your student-athletes can accept coaching. It makes a great difference. I’m very blessed to have the guys that I have.”

A few of the players on this season’s squad are senior captains Howard Shields and Ryan Barrett, along with junior Kian Lemons.

What Lemons wants for Lamphere is something that would be a first since the program became part of the MAC.

“I feel like this is a winnable league,” Lemons said. “If we keep grinding, we for sure can win our league. We just got (to) turn some things around and get moving.”

Barrett hasn’t won a division championship in any sport during his time at Lamphere, and he would like to change that in his senior year.

“League championship would be nice,” Barrett said. “That’s what we’re looking for. … That’d be very special for me.”

Hines said he is “very excited” about the state of Lamphere’s program.

And as for what he would most like to see from his team going forward, Hines said “development.”

“I feel like if you teach the kids the right way and they give their effort, development will happen,” he said. “It’s like school. The more effort you give into your class, the better you’ll be. … I feel like the effort that my kids are giving me on and off the court, we’re (going to) be great. We just have to buy in and continue to work hard and give that effort in everything that we do.”

Up next, Lamphere plays at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at home against Marine City High.