Pair of Huron basketball players achieve dream by signing letters of intent, and more local signings
Chris Asadian | AnnArbor.com
Both played on teams that reached the final four in the state basketball tournament — Lewis in 2010 when the boys team reached the state finals, and Talley this past March when the girls team reached the semifinals.
Both spent their senior season leading teams that won conference and district titles. And now, both have achieved a lifelong goal of playing college basketball next year.
“With all God’s blessing and with all the help from people around me, I’m just lucky that I’m getting to live out my dream,’ said Lewis, who earned a full scholarship to Wayne State University. “It was kind of like ‘whoa.’ I’m just kind of overwhelmed that this is really happening. I was excited. I was thankful.”
Lewis averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds per game this season for the River Rats, who won four straight district championships during Lewis' career.
“The time at Huron is indescribable. It's an unreal thing. I have brothers there. I still talk to the guys that graduated last year, two years ago, three years ago,” Lewis said.
While being recruited, Lewis said that once he arrived at Wayne State’s campus, he knew that’s where he wanted to continue his career.
“I just felt like it was the right decision. I felt like going there I would have a really good chance to succeed. It was a really tough decision,” he said.
Chris Asadian | AnnArbor.com
“I felt like I was one of the players on the team already,” Talley said.
It was home that was on her mind the day she decided to accept the full scholarship offer from Roosevelt.
“It was one of my goals because I didn’t want my parents to have to worry about paying for me to go to school,” Talley said. “I was extremely happy and relieved. I was thanking God and my family for helping me get to that point. I feel very thankful.”
Helping lead her team to the state semifinals, Talley averaged 10.3 points per game for the River Rats before the team lost to Grosse Pointe South 44-41. It was the end to a long road for Talley, who began her basketball career in Ypsilanti. After her freshman season, Talley said she decided to transfer to Huron to get a better education and improve as a player.
“It was bittersweet, it was really tough, but in the end, it made me better,” Talley said. “Coming to Huron and playing for Steve (Vinson, Huron’s head coach) has made me a better player and person.”
After arriving at Huron, Vinson pushed Talley to improve her game and was hard on her at times. Talley, however, said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I liked that because that’s how my dad is. It makes me work even harder. It made me want to do better,” she said.
Much like Talley, Lewis, too, said his coach (Waleed Samaha) was a big influence on him.
“He meant a lot to my development. I had a lot talks with him about leadership and my role. He always pushed me to be the best I could be,” Lewis said. “He was always such a big supporter of everything I did. He helped me develop as a player and a person.”
While neither achieved the ultimate goal of winning a state title, both can agree that being a part of the school has been a positive experience that helped them achieve an individual goal.
“Huron basketball is basically a family. We support each other on and off the court,” Talley said.
MORE LOCAL BOYS BASKETBALL COMMITMENTS
Michael Smutney, Saline: The 6-8 Smutney will attend Lake Superior State University. Smutney was a standout for the Hornets this season, averaging 13 points per game.
Jiles Neely, Milan: Has committed to play at Spring Arbor University next season.
Austin Elam, Milan: Elam will stay in Washtenaw County to play for Concordia University.
Andre Duffin, Milan: Will continue his career at Siena Heights University. Duffin was instrumental in helping Milan capture its first outright Huron League conference championship since 1984.
Andre Bond, Huron: Committed to Northwood University in November. The 6-foot-1-inch Bond was the starting point guard for the River Rats and averaged 13 points, four assists and four rebounds per game in his senior season.
Kendall Thomas, Huron: Thomas will play for Siena Heights next year. Thomas scored just more than nine points per game this season despite battling a serious back injury.
Jared Weeks, Huron: The 6-7 Weeks has committed to Kalamazoo College.
MORE LOCAL GIRLS BASKETBALL COMMITMENTS
Logan Sims, Huron: Sims will attend the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In her final year at Huron, Sims averaged 8.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Angela Broggi, Gabriel Richard: Will play for Adrian College next season.
Sirah Camara, Dexter: Camara will continue her career at Siena Heights.
Following is a list of local athletes also scheduled to make college commitments in sports other than basketball on National Signing Day.
Maddie Phillips, Saline: Siena Heights
Kristina Veal, Saline: Siena Heights
Sarah Silvasi, Dexter: Valparaiso University
Laura Heath, Milan: Taylor (Ind.) University
Sarah Falvey, Father Gabriel Richard: United States Air Force Academy
Annemarie Fischer, Gabriel Richard: Denison University
Marissa Owen, Saline: Hillsdale College
Colin Cerdena, Saline: Vassar College
Brad Harris, Saline: University of Detroit
Dylan Swanson, Pioneer: Detroit
Charlie Zeigler, Pioneer: Beloit College
David Foster, Pioneer: Alma College
Jacob Winnick, Pioneer: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michael Ramos, Gabriel Richard: Albion College
Cheyenne Brierley, Milan: Eastern Michigan University
MacKenzie Quinn, Milan: Lake Erie College
Dray Garrett, Milan: Detroit
Kirsten Plasters, Milan: Spring Arbor
BOYS WATER POLO
Nick Dennis, Huron: Nigata Sangyou University (Japan)
Aleksandar Petrovic, Huron: University of the Pacific
Charlie Maher, Huron: West Valley College
Atolo Tuinukuafe, Huron: West Valley
Aaron Tissack, Huron: University of Michigan (Club Team)
Drew Barnes, Dexter: Alma
Shawn Chamberlain, Dexter: Muskegon CC
James Andrews, Ypsilanti: Bowling Green State University
Anthony Simmons, Ypsilanti: Kettering University
Stephanie Antonetti, Pioneer: Denison
Max Benson, Pioneer: Center (Ind.) College
Mitchelle Salke, Pioneer: Michigan
Travis Maezes, Pioneer: Michigan
Sean Winkelseth, Ypsilanti: Wayne State
Emily Bearman, Ypsilanti: Concordia
Jennifer Ho, Saline: Colgate University