Royal Oak High boys basketball has plan of attack

By: Christian Davis | Royal Oak Review | Published January 25, 2012

 Royal Oak High senior captain Martel Porter goes up for a shot during a recent practice. Porter is averaging just under 15 points per game.

Royal Oak High senior captain Martel Porter goes up for a shot during a recent practice. Porter is averaging just under 15 points per game.

Photo by David Schreiber


ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak High boys basketball coach Mike Massucci calls it “AEO” — attitude, excellence and others.

“I always look, are we living our mission? Do we have great attitudes? Are we committed to excellence, and do we think of others? If we can say yes to those three things, then I think that’s success,” he said. “That’s been our mission this whole season, from start to finish.”

According to the coach, senior captain Brandon Fredrikson has exemplified a great attitude.

At one point this season, the Ravens were 4-2 overall and dreaming big, and then the guard went down with an injury. The team went 1-3 in its next four games and was 5-5 overall at press time.

“So this is really our first test at adversity and even for Brandon individually, how’s he going to come back from the injury, and, for us as a team, how are we going to bounce back,” Massucci said.

The coach said Fredrikson has answered the call.

“You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it, how you respond to it,” Massucci said. He’s been nothing but a winner. He’s been to every practice, he’s been on the bench really as an assistant coach and a true leader.”

Admittedly, it hurts to watch his teammates from the sidelines, but Fredrikson expects to be back on the court by the end of the season. Until then, he wants to contribute any way he can.

“I don’t want it to be where I disappeared on the team when I was hurt and then come back,” he said. “So I stay with the team.”

In terms of excellence, the Ravens are hoping to find the magic they had to start the season.

Senior captains Dre Smith and Martel Porter lead the team, scoring just under 20 and 15 points per game, respectively.

“Those seniors have been very reliable for us, and we’ve been going as they go so to speak,” Massucci said. “We’re 5-5 right now, but I couldn’t be more optimistic about the next 10 games.”

Porter said the team is finding the spark it had to start the year.

“We’re getting back to the attitude that nothing is going to be easy, and we have to go get it,” he said. “We get that attitude from our coach, and we just go and get it every day at practice.”

Massucci, who coached Royal Oak Shrine the past 16 years, wants his team to be examples off the court as well.

The Ravens have spent time volunteering at the Royal Oak Warming Center this season.

“There’s nothing that brings a team closer together than doing something that is important,” he said. “We feel that we’re going to spend a lot of time together as a team, we better being doing important things.”