Posted On: 03/29/18 4:44 PM
In Northern Michigan, it’s sometimes harder to get scouts and press coverage to take a look at what the tip of the mitten has to offer when it comes to basketball talent. Nonetheless, these players will certainly have college coaches and scouts thinking about taking the trip up to see what they offer on the hardwood at some point in the coming years.
Here’s a look at five 2019 & 2020 prospects in Northern Michigan that could turn some college coaches heads.
Glen Lake 2020 guard Reece Hazelton is coming off a terrific Sophomore campaign where he helped lead Glen Lake to a co-conference title and a Class C State Runner-Up finish. At 6-foot-5, 180-pounds Hazelton has the ability to shoot over small guards and finish with the best of the best. Hazelton is also not afraid to let you know he’s feeling it either as he’s very vocal and out-going and gets hot quickly. Hazelton will benefit being in front of college coaches next year with teammate Xavier Okerlund receiving heavy interest.
Another Glen Lake guard Xander Okerlund may be the most polished basketball player in Northern Michigan. The 2019 prospect is a little bit like high school teammate Hazelton. Okerlund has a small build at 6-foot-4, 160-pounds but is one of the most flexible players around. Need a point guard to handle the ball? Okerlund. A shooter to come off screens and fire away? Okerlund. A passer to get guys open looks and set up the offense? Okerlund. Interest has already been high on Okerlund especially after his State Runner-Up run, and a big summer awaits him as he looks to put Glen Lake and Northern Michigan basketball on the map.
Whittemore-Prescott 2020 guard Dana Thorson may be the biggest project on this list but nonetheless is deserving of a mention. At 6-foot, 160-pounds Thorson is a catch and shoot player able to pull the trigger on the court from just about anywhere and everywhere. At times Thorson looks brilliant knocking down deep shots and other times it makes you want to pull him out of the game. With Kyle Colton graduating Thorson will have full-reign on the Whittemore-Prescott program and will look to keep the success of back-to-back District Championships going.
Oscoda 2020 guard Brayden Mallak may have the best vision on the court as anyone in the area. At 5-foot-11, 155-pounds Mallak’s ability to set up open teammates in positions to score is one of his best attributes. A proven leader Mallak has enjoyed being one of the best passers on one of the best up and coming programs in the area. If Mallak can get some shooters around him which looks likely as Oscoda returns 4 of 5 starters and brings up a undefeated JV squad which didn’t had three players moved up to the Varsity they could make a seriously deep run in a loaded North Star League Conference.
Mio 2021 guard Drew Hess is the youngest player on this list but potentially has the most upside of all. Hess had an outstanding freshman year at the legendary Mio program leading the team to a Regional Final. One of the purest shooters Hess has a knack of firing from deep and knocking them down. Just 5-foot-9, 150-pounds there will be a little bit of just getting older and bigger that will need to happen which will naturally for Hess. With his ability to shoot and run the offense Hess will be the top 2021 prospect in Northern Michigan.