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 Coach Clennie Brundidge talks with his team during a timeout against Southfield A&T Dec. 13. The Eagles fell 68-64.

Coach Clennie Brundidge talks with his team during a timeout against Southfield A&T Dec. 13. The Eagles fell 68-64.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Southfield Christian boys basketball back as one of state’s best

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published January 15, 2020

 Southfield Christian’s Da’Jion Humphrey prepares to take a free throw. At press time, the Eagles were 4-2 overall.

Southfield Christian’s Da’Jion Humphrey prepares to take a free throw. At press time, the Eagles were 4-2 overall.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

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SOUTHFIELD — The Southfield Christian boys basketball program may have a new coach this season, but not much has changed expectationwise.

Clennie Brundidge took over for the departed Josh Baker, who left for an assistant coaching position at the University of Alabama.

Brundidge understands the expectations at Southfield Christian. He was an assistant to Baker and served as the head coach for the Eagles during their 2014 state title season.

He said he’s running a lot of the same sets as previous years, with a few of his own wrinkles.

At press time, the Division 4 defending state champions were 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference Blue Division.

“I was very vocal when coach Baker was there, so they know my voice, they know I’ve been there,” Brundidge said. “They understand that I know what I’m talking about, they know I live in the film room, so they buy into it.”

Veteran experience has played a role in the Eagles’ fast start to the campaign, with seven of their 10 players being seniors.

Seniors Noah Rheker and Da’Jion Humphrey played important roles on last year’s championship team and expect to push for another run. Humphrey led all scorers with 20 points in last year’s title game, while Rheker added 10.

Brundidge called having a veteran group a “competitive advantage” because they understand what it takes to win at a high level.

“Once these guys have spent three or four years in your program, they know it, they make the younger people accountable, they provide that mentorship for the younger people. It’s a good thing for the program to have that type of leadership,” Brundidge said.

With the Eagles winning five of the last eight state championships in D-4/Class D, upholding tradition is not lost on the players and coaches in the program.

But even with the success they’ve enjoyed in March over the years, Brundidge and the Eagles aren’t expecting to just stroll into the finals.

“We always want to keep the tradition rolling. We understand that this is a program that’s used to winning, and we love to win and we hate to lose, so we just want to keep it going,” Humphrey said.

The Eagles will hit the court again at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at home against Plymouth Christian.

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