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Mr. Basketball Finalist: Sonny Wilson

Mr. Basketball finalist Sonny Wilson.

He hit the ground running as a freshman, and Sonny Wilson has produced as one of the state’s best guards ever since. Now a senior at Detroit U-D Jesuit, he’s a finalist for Mr. Basketball and hopes to become the Cubs’ second winner of the award after Cassius Winston in 2016. Wilson will play next season at Toledo. Here’s a look back at his decorated career back to ninth-grade.

EYBL: Meanstreets edges Family in Midwest grudge match, July 22: Wilson had 14 points, five assists and five boards. He hit a couple of his patented floaters falling to the left and a deep hip-pocket layup, among his most creative scores. He showed both burst and patience with the ball on the break, and once absolutely schooled Rubin off a ball screen baiting him into a foul. That was a mixed blessing as Wilson finished 2-for-5 from the line and 0-for-5 from the arc.  He had a couple very impressive assists, including getting on his horse and taking senior star Curtis Williams along for the ride to get an and-one; and waiting for junior forward Dylan Grant to fill the lane and hitting him in stride. Wilson is a good on-on-one defender, aggressive, and can get slippery or physical against screeners. He has quick, active feet and stays competitive against bigger, stronger guards; or aggressive against a smaller guard like Taylor. Got on the floor for a loose ball.

Cubs Still the Standard, Feb. 22: Despite his arsenal of creative floaters, pull-ups and hangers going left or right in the lane, and mastery of the glass, Wilson doesn’t force the issue and keeps the ball hot. That gives myriad teammates the chance to bolster his habitual 20+ a game with double-digit outputs of their own. Has a dangerous stop-and-pop, high-arcing three-point shot. He plays both ends and has a good defensive wingspan, useful both as a trapper or interceptor.

Unrivaled: Top 10 Michigan 16U Performers in EYBL, July 21: Has rare and coveted guard intangibles like wiggle, creativity and swag, that latter of which allows Wilson to overcome even poor shooting games to emerge and nail clutch shots. Will go right at big men again and again with bouncy, lively finishes like another Pontiac guard who was a Catholic League superstar, Maurice Searight. In dribble attack mode until he can’t with a tough pull-up shot to make it really interesting. Competes defensively.

Guards Galore at HWF Summer Shootout, June 21:  U-D is full of solid, next-level role guys — and a star. He’s slight, but maxes out his size and length, whether driving with a man on his shoulder, or playing with high hands and draping his man defensively. Like any great high school guard has to be forever accounted for and is always coming at you.

2023 Guards Solidify D1 Bonafides in Early AAU, April 21: A true gamer and competitor who will hurt an opponent with the ball in his hands or playing off the ball with Family teammate Bryce Eaton (DEPSA) at the 1 and Wilson knocking down jumpers. Slight but swift and creative, and keeps chin to the rim and is a good finisher; mixes in floaters as well. Squares up, moves well and competes defensively.

Fine Futures: Underclassman standouts from Catholic League quarters, Feb. 20: Novi Catholic Central went to zone early and it helped them with tempo against the Cubs, but it did nothing to disrupt Wilson who had his way against it with assists or hockey assists once he got it moving; hit an inside-outside 3 himself; missed some floaters but they were good shots when attacking the zone’s gaps. Only had one real miscue, that was against man-to-man in a pick-and-roll when Wilson over-dribbled then passed it over his man’s head. Can get the ball end-to-end in a hurry. Rangy on defense.

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