Welcome to the new Bank Hoops website. It’s come a long way from Steve Bell stapling together and stuffing into envelopes the first edition of “The Bank: The Michigan High School Basketball Player Databank” print newsletter in his college apartment in the spring of 1996. That original issue concerned itself with Saginaw High’s unlikely run to the state championship, and the outrage that a guard from Flint Northern named Mateen Cleaves lost Mr. Basketball to Pershing’s star-crossed Winfred Walton. Mr. Basketball voting controversy? Apparently some things never change.
Thousands of Michigan high school prospects have been scouted and profiled since then, in print and then online, as Bank Hoops continues to tell the stories of and advocate for the Mitten State’s young hoopers, into its third decade. From Willie Green and Chris Kaman to Deyonta Davis and Denzel Valentine in the current day, Bank Hoops is often years ahead of any national scouts realizing the awesome potential of those young Michigan natives. While the media and game have changed over that time, our commitment to these players and helping them reach the next level of basketball is as strong as ever, probably more so for the reward of seeing so many great young men grow up and become part of the basketball community giving back themselves.
The first and most obvious change on this site is the paid membership section. This will allow us to further expand our coverage, and provide more content for fans and college coaches. There will still be public content, such as the all-state teams, Bank Hoops camp coverage and weekly team rankings in the regular season. But the bulk of the scouting will be readable only for members, who may join monthly or annually. It will also allow us to expand the online player rankings to serve as an evolving databank for Michigan high school prospects. Members will enjoy the same seasoned, objective player analysis that has been Bank Hoops’ hallmark through the years. We’re especially excited to add another scout and writer, Braeden Proctor, to work with Bell. He has the perfect mix of being a young recent player himself able to relate to the athletes he’s covering while at the same time staying true to Bank Hoops’ old school scouting acumen of telling it like we see it to help the players become better, not be their friends, and give college coaches the most accurate takes we can. Throw in a Midwestern work ethic, and Proctor one of the top young guys in the business. That young talent and enthusiasm combined with the historical perspective and veteran scouting eye from Bell, and we’re proud of the work we’ve already done together and is available for everyone to read here from May AAU and June team events.
Thanks for reading this, as well as all the other words, and the support, encouragement and ideas over the years. We look forward to expanding Bank Hoops’ coverage and taking it to the next level for many years to come.