Finney's Isaiah Sykes Says He's No Mystery

Ranked one of the top five players in the state, junior forward Isaiah Sykes of Detroit Finney sits until mid-January and waits for his shot on the court. MHSAA ruled that Sykes must sit out the first semester after transferring last season from Chadsey

DETROIT - Some observers have questioned his rise up the ranks of the top players in the state. But the consensus on Detroit Finney's Isaiah Sykes is that he's one of the top five players in the state.

He's being pursued by Michigan State, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Dayton and many others, but few have actually seen him on the hardwoods.

Their wait will be over on January 16th, when Sykes will be eligible and is expected to jump immediately into the starting lineup of the Finney Highlanders.

Sykes was a thin, lanky kid with a nice jumper when he played his freshman season at Detroit Chadsey, but trouble off the court and in the hallways made a move to another school seem prudent.

He made the move and transferred to nearby Finney high school and to a program that was run at a high level by coach Ray Reeves and assistant Hans Jones.

"He's the best player we've had in the state in a long time," Reeves was quoted as saying. He even compared Sykes to MSU great Magic Johnson saying, "he grabs a rebound and he can go with it."

Obviously, those statements raised eyebrows, but Sykes says they are true.

"Yes, I agree that I'm one of the top five players in the state. I work hard and come in with the attitude that my team is going to win."

Sykes says that the situation at Finney, not just the trouble off the court, helped him decide to make the move to the Highlander's program.

"We worked out all summer, we went hard at each other trying to get better." Sykes says he heard the critcism of his ballhandling but that is not true.

"I can handle the ball pretty well," he said, he credits his coaches for his rapid improvement this summer. "We have better coaches, we work on everything, we exercise, work on our handling, lift weights, we do it all".

Sykes was among a group of players including Justin Martin, Derrick Nix, LaDontae Henton and Garrick Sherman who visited Michigan State this fall during a football weekend and he liked what he saw.

"I haven't heard from them lately, but it's really nice up there. I had real fun. It was nice watching the football team and talking to some of the players and I really liked it."

With MSU revving up for the start of the season, several players have told GSN they they haven't heard from their recruiters but that it is to be expected, especially with the team getting ready to start Big Ten play.

"I would say Tennessee is recruiting me the hardest, but I'm still hearing from Dayton and Kentucky also. Coach Stephens is the one recruiting me, but I haven't talked to him since I lost my cellphone, but I'm going to give him a call to let him know how to get hold of me," said Sykes.

Coach Hans Jones told GSN that not having Sykes was a big factor in the loss they suffered to Detroit Southeastern. He was also forced to sit out the Roundball Classic and the team's featured game at the Romulus holiday classic.

"It just made me want it more, (made me) work harder and get into practice as soon as possible, but while I have to sit out, I'm just working out, trying to get better and looking forward to January 16th.

I think I'm going to jump right into the starting lineup."

Sykes says his game is no mystery, he played all season with the Michigan Hurricanes on the AAU circuit and that anyone who wanted to see his game had ample opportunity. He said those who did are the ones who are ranking him where he is today.

Until he can get back on the hardwood, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound forward says he's going to suck it up and wait.

"[I'm] not really disappointed because it's just going to make my team better and stronger, because [Finney] is just a better organization, they're more into it and when I (join the team) its only going to make us a much stronger team. For now, I just go out there and try to support my team."


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