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West Michigan breakout prospects

Grandville sophomore forward Cameron Regnerus.

West Michigan can be a recruiting gold mine, with a growing, diverse population base and good coaching not just at many high school programs but with various AAU programs. Here are some breakout recruits from Muskegon down to Kalamazoo.

Jalen Charity  6-5  Sr  Grand Rapids Northview: He’s been a key component for the undefeated Wildcats, who look like a top 10 overall team in Michigan. Not the alpha but that’s a perfect fit for him because he causes all kinds of matchup problems with his size off the wing and athleticism.  Great speed on the wings going either direction.

Nate Clark  6-4  Sr  Hudsonville: Has the look of the kind of player who doesn’t have a big AAU rep or anything but could go to one of the local colleges and have a bigger career than bigger-repped recruits because of his frame, physical tools and high school coaching. Can finish above the rim or from 20 feet, and has the strength to finish through contact.

Carter Meerman  6-0  So  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: Showed just how much depth CC has when Meerman, often little used, scored 25 points against Cedar Springs, including seven 3s. Also a quick, explosive athlete off the dribble who has a college future after more upperclassman PT.

Gabe Newhof  6-8  Sr  Hudsonville Unity Christian: The small college recruiting coup thus far in the 2022 class is Newhof to Spring Arbor, as he’s a GLIAC-caliber post that they got out of West Michigan, not their usual backyard. He’s led Unity Christian to a state ranking and 11-0 start, most recently against Holland Christian. The Maroons have well over 500 pounds of post in the state’s top available 2022 center Jalen Overway and Ben Nelson, a pwo offensive lineman recruit to MSU; Newhof had 21 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. Against more traditional high school lineups he’ll bury you with raw power in the kill zone, against bigger players can face up and drive. Will challenge shots but can also move out on the floor defensively.

Javion Otten  6-4  Jr  Kenowa Hills: A dunk hunter along the baselines, break or off simple back-cuts. Tough shot-maker when he gets rolling. Uses his size on the glass and as a finisher. Big first step and can kill you with straight-line drives. More of a wing than a guard but makes the basic passes on the break. Has the kind of game that can pop in AAU, so look for Otten to keep rising, he already looks like a top 50 kid in a strong 2023 class.

Cade Pokorzynski  6-6  Jr  Rockford: The Rams sit alone atop the OK-Red standings. And they could be there a year from now as well as their tough forward combo of Pokorzynski and Charlie Deutsch are both juniors, and they also start a sophomore, Andew Landis. Stylistically Pokorzynski is reminiscent of a former Rockford wing forward, John Polonowski who went to Marquette out of Michigan’s legendary 1995 class. He’s a pure wing who can shoot but also get off the floor quickly to dunk. Could cut harder and make a strong target more consistently. Doesn’t have that problem on defense, where Cade fights hard over screens and will sprint to try to beat the ball in the air.

Cameron Regnerus  6-6  So  Grandville: He’s held his own in the OK-Red. Great length as a shot-blocker, where he also has timing, fundamentals and doesn’t bite, especially for an underclassman. Good feel and timing offensively as a finisher; can start high and finish at the hoop with long strides and balance.

Maurice Sain  6-5  Sr  Muskegon: Rock-solid frontliner for an undefeated Big Reds squad. He’s picked up a bevy of offers from different levels — KVCC, Aquinas and Northwood. Explosive leaper and a much-improved shooter.

Tony Williams  5-11  Sr  Parchment: A former Detroit Kettering player who has thrived for first-year Parchment coach David Jones, who has the Panthers 10-0 and is now the Kalamazoo area’s answer to Arthur Hill’s Elvis Machul. Williams is a left-hander but you don’t know it by his handle, which can prove deadly for forgetful high school defenders when he does decide to blow by you with the left.

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