Battle of Grand Rapids brings 2010-17 hoopers to town for hybrid “showcase”

Battle of Grand Rapids Union

Five schools with recent success bring back talent to showcase in a basketball tournament that is free to the public to attend. That’s the event Union HS varsity coach Brandeon Guyton has put together for Saturday.

“We are putting five of the more successful teams of the last seven years out there,” Guyton told’s Steve Kaminski. “We have a lot of schools interested, but we wanted to start small and see how it goes. At the end of the day, there will be no college or NBA scouts there. It’s a free event for the city, and a chance to watch guys who are still playing college ball or just got done playing ball.”

Godwin Heights, East Kentwood, GR Christian, Union and Ottawa Hills will take to the floor at the home of the Redhawks starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Union, hosting the event, will receive a bye into the semi-finals, taking on the winner of the first matchup between the (GRC) Eagles and the (EK) Falcons.  The Wolverines and the Bengals will take the floor for the 2 p.m. game. Union takes the floor at 3 p.m. against the winner of GRC-EK with a championship game set for 4:30 p.m.

The teams will be coached by popular former alumni. Thomas Kelley, a star at Union and currently a coach on Tom Izzo’s bench at Michigan State who talked hoops with us in 2016, will be on the sidelines for the host Redhawks. Kavon Frazier, who plays football for the Dallas Cowboys, will coach GR Christian and will face off with Courtney James of East Kentwood. Eric Large takes the helm for the Bengals and Cecil Brown will call the shots for Godwin.

Christian Rodriguez, who will play at Cornerstone next season, will take the floor for Godwin Heights. Other former Wolverines include Leon Redd, Delaney Blaylock, Markeese Mayfield, Braima Hai and Kevin Badger.

Jeffrey Drake-Todd, who earned 1st Team All-American NJCAA honors this past season at Grand Rapids Community College as the Raiders made the Elite Eight, will once again don the Falcons’ colors. He’ll be joined by fellow Raider Arthur Pearson and Micah Rosser, Miles Robinson and Jalen Carter.

This tournament will be a hybrid between Guyton’s RedHawk Showcase featuring area high schools and the City League Pride Game, played by former City League stars, put on by former RedHawk All-Stater Michael “Pops” Sims.