Lewis, Draper and Abrams join Laucky, McDonald as Saints
When the Aquinas Saints men’s basketball team takes the floor later this year, you’ll see five new faces in the lineup for coach Ryan Bertoia.
Tommy Lewis, a 6’4 wing from Grand Rapids Northview High School, Zane Draper, a 6’0 point guard from Grosse Pointe South High School, and Cooper Abrams, out of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s High School, have added their names to the Saints Class of ’21 that includes Marek Laucky from Traverse City St. Francis and Deondra McDonald from Baldwin.
Lewis played varsity for three seasons for the Wildcats of Northview, starting in his junior year and captaining during his senior campaign. Lewis led the team in scoring with 13.7 points per game, hit 38% from behind The 3-Point Turn and was an ace at the FT line (86%) while being named as the team’s Outstanding Offensive Player.
Named to the First-Team OK White All-Conference and Second-Team Advance All-Area East, Lewis finished in the top-20 free-throw shooters in the state of Michigan. Off the court, Lewis was in Spanish National Honors Society and earned High Honors with a 3.5 GPA.
“I am looking forward to all that Aquinas has to offer: a quality education, a beautiful campus in a great city,” said Lewis. “I have admired the basketball program and am very excited to contribute to the Saints’ future success.”
Draper was an assassin and played the lead on the court in his ow rendition of Grosse Pointe Blank. He led the Blue Devils to a 17-3 record in 2016 while winning the GPS Holiday Tournament, Roundball Classic, and MAC Blue Conference Championship. A two-year starter who earned MAC All-Conference Honorable-Mention in both his junior and senior seasons, he found himself named as a Detroit News All-East Honorable-Mention. He also was a member of the All-MAC Academic team. Draper played his AAU ball for STARS Basketball.
“I chose Aquinas because it’s a great education and their successful basketball program. I’m most excited to start the next chapter of my life and continue my basketball career.”
Abrams comes to Beer City, USA after he led the OLSM Eaglets to a 17-5 record this past season.
Cooper was named team captain after he helped his team survive the cold north of Copper Country, being named to the L’Anse Cruise North Christmas Tournament, a proud honor in the shadows of the Bishop Baraga Shrine statue on the south end of the Keweenaw Bay on US-41.
The Eaglets won the holiday tournament and have reached the district final the past two seasons. OLSM finished the year ranked 2nd in Oakland County and 17th in the state of Michigan. Abrams averaged 13.1 points per game and shot 49% from beyond The 3-Point Turn. He also added 2.8 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.
“The moment I walked into the gym, I had several players come up to welcome me and introduced themselves. The campus is great and the College is in a great city. The guys welcomed me in and I felt like I fit right in and I knew that this is where I wanted to be the second I left campus. I attended a Catholic High School and it was important to me to keep growing my faith in every way I could.”
These three newcomers come on the heels of the Saints adding Deondra McDonald,who played his HS ball at Baldwin High School. All four-year Honor-Roll student, McDonald finished with a 3.5 GPA and was been named Academic All-State along with the team’s Most Valuable Player, an All-Conference selection and All-Area Dream Team.
Named All-State by the BCAM and PrepHoops, Deondra led the Panthers to a 70-12 record, two district titles, and a conference championship during his time there, averaging 20.7 points per game and 10+ rebounds. He also guided his team to their first regional win in over 20 years.
When asked about Aquinas, McDonald quipped,
“The thing that stood out to me the most about Aquinas College was the opportunity that I had to play basketball at a place where I could continue my educational career. The campus felt like home.”
The Saints have a loaded group coming in to go along with a talented bunch of returning players. Bertoia’s team will lose his two minutes leaders in Jake Bullock (20.4 ppg) and Ryan Schall (8.4 ppg) to graduation, but returns three seniors, six juniors and last year’s freshman class of three as sophomores. These five incoming freshman will have a great opportunity to see action early and often during the season if they live up to expectations.
Follow @BeerCityHoops on Twitter for all the latest, greatest hoops and hops news in Beer City, USA