Class of '09 Starring in Hot Summer Hoops

Country Day's 7-foot Da'shonte Riley is one of's highest ranked freshmen and has been under the watch of Michigan State.

ROMULUS, MI -- In Michigan, AAU teams are on the road, at home, and high school team camps are abundant.

During this open period every Division I school in the country is taking advantage of this highly valued recruiting period where the best gather together to take part in these highly publicized events.

The high school team camp competition is tough as the Romulus Summer League highlights this Tuesday, July 10, with over 27 games starting at 2:30.

One of the highlight games is scheduled to start at 5:50, when host Romulus and Iowa State's 6'2 verbal commit Dominique Buckley takes on Detroit Country Day. Country Day's 7-foot Da'shonte Riley is one of's highest ranked freshmen and has been under the watch of Michigan State. He's been working on his individual game and has only played in a few events this spring and early summer.

But, it's Riley's new high school teammate and fellow incoming 6-foot-7 junior Donnavan Kirk that's turned heads of late. Kirk and Riley are also members of The Family 16u team. The newest Country Day player is mobile and learning the power forward position quickly. He's visited Michigan State and really liked his experience.

He's also receiving initial letters and interest from other Big Ten schools as well as from the MAC. I'd expect Kirk to have a pretty big July and Tuesday I'll find out more.

St. Cecilia's is another hot spot for these team camps, literally. Located on Detroit's West side this gym can turn into an incubator as the temperature soars. But, it doesn't stop the kids from playing hard and the attendance is no different then if it was cool spring or fall day.

Naturally, many of Detroit's schools participate in the gym that produced Steve Smith, Jalen Rose, Vashon Lenard, Chris Webber, Maurice Taylor, and hundreds more that have made a name for themselves in college or the pros.

The 15u National Championships start on Wednesday and the premier teams in the country battle it out for supremacy. The individual talent is off the chain and an excellent way to get a sneak peek at rising stars.

Last year, the REACH Legends 6-foot-5 Dion Sims, the Virginia Squires 6-foot-7 forward Karron Johnson, the Alabama Storm's 6-foot-9 Demarcus Cousins, the NY Gauchos 6-foot-5 Tevin Baskins, and the Indiana Elite's 6-foot-8 Stephen VanTreese were just a few that are drawing tons of attention from top notch programs now.

I expect much of the same this year as most of the teams are from east of the Mississippi River but, there are some exceptions such as Dallas Showtime is listed as the first team in Pool A. Among the 92 teams are eleven from Michigan.

These events are sure to bring plenty of action and reports will follow…

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