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NCAA July Open Period Commences in Grand Rapids

Brawl_for_the_Ball_largeMost of the state’s top programs and prospects, and college coaches from throughout the Midwest, will converge on Grand Rapids this week for the Brawl for the Ball, an NCAA sanctioned tournament. It runs Thursday, July 9 — Sunday, July 12.

Click here for the full schedule.

Read below to discover what are some of the best games for fans and coaches to check out. All are at MVP Fieldhouse unless otherwise noted.

17U Grand Rapids Storm vs West Michigan Lakers, 3:30 pm Thursday: There are always some healthy hard feelings when the two longest-running teams on the Westside hook up. Love the matchup of athletic, lanky, bouncy wings, the Storm’s 6-4 East Kentwood senior Micah Rosser and the Lakers’ 6-4 Zeeland East senior Ben Ritsema.

17U Mustangs (Woodruff) vs Impact Elite, 4:45 pm Thursday: This is a rematch of the championship game of the Camp Darryl Classic in May. It may be on Court 4, but small schools and D2s need to be all over this matchup.

16U ACB/Bank Hoops vs 1Nation, 6 pm Thursday: If these two guys played at different local schools, they’d be household names. But 6-5 ACB/Bank Hoops junior Riley Fairfield is at North Muskegon and not Muskegon High, and 6-4 1Nation junior Austin McCullough is at Portage and not Kalamazoo Central. Both are athletic, tough wings and top 20 overall prospects in the 2017 class. The similarities don’t end there, as both could be scholarship football receivers if they chose that route, and they play for Michigan’s two Under Armour-sponsored teams. Fairfield’s ACB/Bank Hoops squad is coming off a strong spring in which they won gold bracket titles at King James and the Chicago Classic.

17U ACB/Bank Hoops vs REACH 2:15 pm Friday: These programs played two great 17U games in 2014, and all the perimeter talent and athleticism from both teams promises another fun one on Court 1.

15U Family vs Mustangs, 8:30 pm Friday: Any time the state’s most storied programs meet, it’s appointment viewing. The Mustangs are bolstered by the arrival of one of the state’s top sophomore guards Davion Williams of Belleville. The two early candidates for the state’s top 2019 recruit will be in the 15U field here, the Family’s 6-4 Romeo Weems and Mustangs (Haney) 6-5 Sean Cobb from Williamston.

16U Family vs Triple Threat, 11:45 am Saturday: Lansing area big men seem to come in pairs. Grand Ledge’s Al Horford and Everett’s Goran Suton were the real deal. Jon Horford and Eaton Rapids’ Alex Gauna were a flimsy facsimile. Hopefully the newest pair, 6-9 Holt junior Jaron Faulds of the Family and 6-8 East Lansing sophomore Brandon Johns of Triple Threat, trend towards the former.


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