Young Hazel Park High boys basketball team excited for season

By: Christian Davis | Madison - Park News | Published January 8, 2016

 Hazel Park sophomore guard Carl Bow Jr. drives past a defender in a game earlier this season.

Hazel Park sophomore guard Carl Bow Jr. drives past a defender in a game earlier this season.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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HAZEL PARK — Hazel Park High boys basketball coach Brandon Barrett isn’t willing to make any predications, because frankly, he doesn’t know what’s in store for his team.

The Vikings’ top six players include three sophomores, a freshman, a junior and a senior.

“They’re very talented, but still young though. I don’t know if they’re ready to get over the hump yet,” Barrett said. “I don’t know how we’re going to face adversity, because we’re still young. We made a lot of improvements, but at the end of the day, 15- and 16-year-olds going up against 17- and 18-year-olds, that’s a big deal.”

Last season, Hazel Park finished 6-4 in the Oakland Activities Association Gold Division, tied for second with Berkley High and one game behind Farmington High.

The Vikings return three starters in sophomore guards Dave Hearns and Carl Bow Jr., and junior guard Cam Boatman.

Barrett is also counting on senior forward James Jenkins, sophomore forward Jeremiah Williams and freshman guard Ceaser Brooks.

In total, nine players are on the roster. Barrett said the positive part is that each athlete is going to see a lot of time and continue to grow. The negative part is that there is little room for injuries.

Defensively, he plans on playing a lot of zone to try and keep his team’s legs fresh, which vastly differs from last season’s more aggressive press.

“That’s what it’s going to take to win,” he said.

On the offensive end, Barrett plans to take advantage of his guard-oriented roster.

“Our offense is a spread offense, but we look for each other. This team likes playing together, and that’s a good sign, especially this early on,” he said. “It’ll give us more firepower to be able to score, but you pay for it on the defensive end, because we’re not as tall as other teams. So now you have a guard checking a big. That hurts.” 

At press time, the Vikings were 2-3 overall and set to open their Gold play with Royal Oak High at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at home.

“Win or lose, as long as we give our 100 percent effort, I have no problem with the guys. That’s all that I preach — compete,” Barrett said. “If you can go out there and compete for 40 minutes, nine times out of 10, it’ll come out in your favor.”

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