Posted On: 05/18/18 11:30 AM
This past weekend, the West Michigan Lakers hosted the annual Wes Leonard Strength and Honor Tulip Tipoff! The event offered a great look at some local, West Michigan talent, and many players across a variety of positions stood out from the crowd. Below are some wings who had an impressive weekend!
Shawn Coad – 6’2 – 2020 – West Michigan Lakers 16u/GR Angels (Homeschool)
Coad has been athletic since middle school (when he was dunking at 6′ or less), and that certainly hasn’t changed. Because of this, he can be relied upon to get more rebounds than the typical SG. He also can electrify the crowd with highlight dunks; something he does regularly in the homeschool league and gets the opportunity for in the spring as well. Going into the high school season, he already had the athleticism, but he needed to develop the basketball-specific skills to match his size and position. The fruit of his work showed on Saturday when he proved able to hit outside and midrange shots. He also displayed some court vision with a nice pass in transition, and, as always for him, was able to score at the rim. In a tight contest with the GR Storm, Coad had 17 and played a well-rounded game.
Jalen Broussard – 6’3 – 2019 – GR Storm/East Grand Rapids
Broussard stands at a respectable 6’3, but his reach lets him play like he’s 6’5. Pairing his length with his athleticism makes him an excellent rim-attacker. In in the opening play of one game, he made a backdoor cut and finished a layup caught off a lob from his point guard, putting these two strengths to great use. His scoring would come in large part from finishes like these. Whether as he led the break or cut in the half court, his teammates found him for nice passes just a dribble or two from the rim. Broussard also sometimes took it in himself, finishing strong or making a nice pass off the drive.
Connor Kok – 6’4 – 2019 – Sporting U/South Christian
Kok offers versatility in his height and skillset. He is about 6’4 now with the potential to grow (his older brother, Keegan, was 6’6), but he plays primarily on the wing. There, he positions himself to receive kicks from drives and post-ups for open three-pointers. On the inside, he puts his long arms to good use by vying among bigs for rebounds and extending to complete contested layins. Kok also made a number of passes that either “threaded the needle” or had a bit of flair, impressing the crowd while showcasing his IQ.
De’Airrus Ware – 6’3 – 2019 – West Michigan Lakers/Reeths-Puffer
Ware stood out for just being a freak of an athlete. He is not huge at 6’3, but his presence was hugely felt at times. In each of the two games I saw him play Saturday, he had some very impressive blocks. He also put his athleticism to work as a rebounder and scorer. He had a great take to the rim to finish and get fouled, something he is probably used to because his speed and vertical are so hard to contest. Other takes stood out for being crazy fast or explosive. Ware did not score as much as some teammates, but he earned his time by putting his athleticism to work in ways that impacted the game both on and off the stat sheet.
Ethan Clason – 5’11 – 2020 – West Michigan Lakers 16u/Jenison
Clason stood out to me as a shooter. He was a great catch-and-shoot guy on the wing, and could hit shots from DEEP. On one play, his man was five feet away defending around the perimeter, so Clason pulled up flat-footed from NBA range like it was nothing! He also got what seemed to be a lot of defensive rebounds out of which he comfortably brought the ball up in the break, usually just to initiate ball movement. Additionally, he seemed to find a lot of teammates by driving and kicking to shooters or dishing to cutters.