By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The annual Reaching Higher showcases of Michigan’s top high school basketball players will return for their 10th year June 23 at Milford High School in Highland Township, and for the first time volleyball players will take part in the Reaching Higher experience during a showcase July 18 also at Milford.
Nearly 200 athletes with aspirations to play basketball and nearly 80 with hopes of playing volleyball 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 a number of NCAA, NAIA and junior college programs.
For both sports, 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 player and also succeed in college life. Reaching Higher is a combined effort by the Michigan High School Athletic Association with the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan and Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association.
For both sports, participants were selected by a committee of coaches association members based on nominations by member basketball or volleyball coaches. A complete list of June 23 expected attendees can be found on the basketball Reaching Higher page of the MHSAA Website, while a complete list of expected attendees for volleyball will be posted closer to that event on the Reaching Higher page for that sport.
The boys basketball event begins at 11 a.m. on June 23, with scrimmages running from 1-3:30 p.m. The girls basketball event begins at 3 p.m., with scrimmages from 5-7:30 p.m. Speakers for the boys session include Reggie Butler, a standout at Southfield-Lathrup High School who went on to play at Xavier University and professionally overseas. Girls session speakers include Cassie Breen, who starred for Brownstown Woodhaven High and Central Michigan University and played professionally this past season in Spain.
Longtime coach Dave Ginsberg will speak with athletes; he coached at a number of Michigan high schools and also was an assistant men’s basketball coach at Central Michigan University for 16 years, and he currently serves as the secretary/treasurer of the National High School Basketball Coaches Association. Longtime high school and college coach Marc Comstock – currently the boys varsity coach at Grass Lake High School – and former Saginaw Valley State University and current Flint Powers Catholic athletic director Mike Watson will conduct sessions with parents during players’ drill and practice sessions.
The volleyball event begins at 9:30 a.m. on July 18. A schedule for the day including speakers will be added to the volleyball Reaching Higher page of the MHSAA Website closer to the event.
Below, State Champs Sports Network explains a little bit more about the history of the basketball Reaching Higher event.