Posted On: 10/22/18 11:15 AM

Motown is many things but most don’t realize how year in and year out Detroit produces some of the best basketball players across the country.  From the playgrounds of Campus Martius to the infamous St. Cecilia Gym and all the way over to the Joe Dumars Fieldhouse, basketball is king in this city.  Not many cities can say the are a basketball mecca like the great city of Detroit can. The city has gone through some trials and tribulations but high school basketball has always been known to bring Detroiters together. 

Here’s a list of the top 5 programs of all-time in Detroit.   These programs along with many more have some great history.  

1.Pershing Doughboys

No program has had the consistency, or success that the infamous Doughboys have had over the last 50 years or more. They have had seven players play in the NBA and have won the most state titles of any PSL team, with five.  Five Class A state titles (’67,’70,’92,’93,’09). Four Mr.Basketball winners (Michtell-’94, Walton-’96, Nix-’09, Appling-’10). Eight PSL city titles. Nine state title appearances.

Notable Alumni: Spencer Haywood, Steve Smith, Deshawn Sims, Demetrius Ward, Kahlil Felder Jr. ,Martez Walker, Mel Daniels,Ralph Simpson, Justin Tillman, Kevin Willis, Keith Appling, Derrick Nix, Arthur Johnson, Winfred Walton, Willie Mitchell, Kahlil Felder Sr., Charles Lesure, Robert Hawkins, Willie Iverson.

2.Southwestern Prospectors

Southwestern owned Detroit in the 80s and early 90s. Legendary head coach Perry Watson had his program running like a well-oiled machine, advancing to six straight state title game and seven in eight year, which they all lost. The Prospectors also produced some of the best hoopers and teams Detroit has ever seen during that time period.  Three Class A state titles (’73,’91,’90). One Mr.Basketball winner (Joubert-’83). Ten PSL city titles. 10 state title appearances.

Notable Alumni: Jalen Rose, Antoine Joubert, Howard Eisley, Voshon Lenard, Anderson Hunt, James Hunter, Henry Kovacs, Cliff Williams, Leslie Rockymore, DeAndre Haynes, Derrick Hayes,Mike Hamilton, Elton Carter.

3.St.Martin dePorres Eagles

As one of the more smaller schools on the list, with an enrollment of a couple hundred kids, dePorres had some of the best overall athletes in the city during its reign. The Eagles athletic program was so good that it probably could have won titles in a higher class. The 80s and 90s were the school’s glory days, before it was forced to shut its doors in 2005.  One Class D state title (’76). Seven Class C state titles (’85,’86,’92,’96,’98,’99,’03). Six Catholic League titles. Nine state title appearances.

Notable Alumni: Durrell Summers, Brandon Cotton, Willie Burton, Tony Fuller, Negele Knight, Tony Tolbert, Aloysius Anagonye, Lionel Sullivan, Teremun Johnson, Tymon Marshall, Tony Tolbert.

4.Renaissance Phoenix

While Renaissance is curently mired in a coaching ordeal their basketball legacy is still in tact. In the early 2000s the Phoenix were a city power, winning two state titles, producing several All-Americans along the way. Two Class B state titles (’04,’06). Three PSL city titles.  Their battles with Redford, Denby, Pershing and dePorres during are legendary.  They are consistent contenders to reach the Breslin Center year in and year out.

Notable Alumni: Joe Crawford, Rickey Paulding, Tajaun Porter, Malik Hairston, Clark Bishop, Carson Butler, Toreau Brown, Jerome Hutchins, Marcus Stout.

5.Cooley Cardinals

Along with schools like Southwestern, Pershing, the 80s were special for high school basketball in the city. Cooley had its glory days during that time period and captured an unprecedented three straight Class A state titles  (’87,’88,’89). One Mr.Basketball winner (Talley-’89). One Retro Mr.Basketball winner (Fogle-’72) and two PSL city titles.  Flint Central and Kalamazoo Central are the only other programs to accomplish such a feat in the state’s highest class.

Notable Aumni: Mike Talley, George Ward, Willie Green, Roy Tarpley, Sylvester Dotson, Delvar Barrett, Larry Fogle, Cliff Williams, Mike Gardner, Ed Dotson, Daniel Lyton.