Recruiting & Scouting

BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Sumner tabs Xavier as college choice, while DCD star also sees his chances raise in race for Mr. Basketball

   | Scott Burnstein

BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Sumner tabs Xavier as college choice, while DCD star also sees his chances raise in race for Mr. Basketball

This past week Birmingham Detroit Country Day basketball star Edmond Sumner made some big news and then got some.

To tip things off, Sumner, the Yellowjackets’ all-state junior point guard committed to Xavier, pulling the plug on his recruitment early.

On Saturday, the smooth, smart and lanky 6-foot-4 floor general received some good news in terms of his Mr. Basketball candidacy when Warren De La Salle’s A.J. Turner, believed by some to be the frontrunner in the race for the 2014 hardware, announced he was transferring to a prep school (New Hampton) in New Hampshire.

The departure of Turner (guard-forward) from the Mr. Basketball picture, opens the door even further for Sumner, who along with Detroit Pershing’s Justin Tillman, appears to now have the most momentum heading into the upcoming campaign.

Sumner amped up his candidate-status by leading Country Day to a Class B state championship back in March and with the bulk of the team’s core returning will have a chance to pick up a second straight state-title ring before graduating next June.

He averaged a devastatingly versatile 23 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals per night last season.

Choosing Xavier over the University of Massachusetts, Sumner made his decision fully aware that several additional major Division I college programs would most likely would have been delving out offers to him this summer.

The biggest change for Sumner next winter will not be with Country Day’s rotation, but on its sideline. Earlier in the month, longtime Yellowjackets head coach Kurt Keener announced he was leaving to accept a job at Desert Mountain High School down in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Keener helped develop Sumner from a small, skinny freshman to a fierce and ferocious gem in the backcourt.

Yellowjackets’ assistant and Keener-protégé Rick Palmer, Sumner’s AAU coach with The Family is a possible replacement and his hiring would probably prove the smoothest transition for Sumner and his teammates, many of whom play for Palmer in the offseason as well.

Maury Diane, Sumner’s backcourt mate, is being recruited by Division I schools, too. Maurice Ways, the club’s standout forward, is verbally-committed to play college football at the University of Michigan as a wide receiver.

Xavier finished 17-14 last season. Under head coach Chris Mack, the Muskateers have appeared in the NCAA Sweet 16 in two of the past four years.

The Cincinnati-based school has recruited this area well in recent times, landing 2009 Mr. Basketball award-winner Brad Redford (Frankenmuth) and Jalen Reynolds of Livonia Stevenson, a coveted-recruit in 2011.