By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The annual Reaching Higher showcases of Michigan’s top high school basketball players will return for the seventh year beginning Wednesday, July 15, with the boys event and followed by the state’s top girls prospects taking the floor July 23. Both again will be hosted by Milford High School in Highland Township.
More than 200 athletes with aspirations to play at the college level will train and scrimmage under the tutelage of high school coaches from across the state and in front of college coaches expected to represent all three NCAA divisions, the NAIA and junior college levels. Coaches from 33 college basketball programs, including nine from Division I schools, attended the 2014 Reaching Higher events.
An educational effort by the Michigan High School Athletic Association and the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan, the Reaching Higher experience includes classroom sessions for student-athletes and their parents as well as on-court drills and scrimmaging. The events aim to give athletes a vision of what it takes to become a college basketball player and also succeed in college life.
Participants in the program were selected by a committee of BCAM members. The process began in December when local high school coaches submitted nominations to the selection committee. Participants were chosen in February.
Click for a complete list of expected attendees. The boys event begins at 3 p.m. on July 15, with scrimmages running from 5:45 to 8 p.m. The girls event begins at noon on July 23, with scrimmages from 2 to 4:25 p.m.
Speakers for the boys session include Willie Green, a graduate of Detroit Cooley who recently finished his first season with the Orlando Magic and 12th season overall in the NBA. Former Grosse Pointe North and University of Notre Dame standout Ariel Braker will be among speakers for the girls session; she led Grosse Pointe North to the Class A title in 2008 and started her final two seasons at Notre Dame while serving as captain as a senior during 2013-14 as the Fighting Irish finished NCAA runner-up.
PHOTO: A player prepares to shoot a free throw during a scrimmage at last year's Reaching Higher girls event.