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BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Youngstown State, local-born assistant coach keep making an imprint in area, nab Cass Tech's Steward

   | Scott Burnstein

BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Youngstown State, local-born assistant coach keep making an imprint in area, nab Cass Tech's Steward

DETROIT – Youngstown State is taking advantage of assistant men’s basketball coach Steve Hall’s deep ties in the Motor City.

Hall, who joined the Penguins' staff a year ago, delivered his second Detroit-bred recruit to the Youngstown State program in the last month, when Detroit Cass Tech senior hoop star Kyle Steward committed to come into the fold this week.

A rangy 6-foot-7 forward, Steward joins Romulus’ Jalon Plummer (6-foot-5 wing), who committed in the first week of April, in YSU’s current recruiting class.

In the late-2000s Hall left the local prep sidelines, after taking Class D Detroit Rogers to three state crowns and Class A Detroit Northwestern to a PSL title, to coach college ball, first at Duquesne in Pennsylvania and now in Ohio at YSU.

Landing Steward and Plummer late in the 2013 recruiting game is a feather in Hall’s cap. They are both big grabs for the Penguins.

Plummer helped lead Romulus to a Class A state championship back in the winter.

Transferring to Cass Tech for his senior year from Detroit Crockett, Steward was a standout in the post for a very good Technicians squad. Known as a high-flyer on the fastbreak and around the rim, he averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game and Cass Tech finished 19-4. Exhibiting his ability to come through in the clutch, Steward drained a buzzer-beater in the PSL semifinals to lift the Technicians to a win over eventual state-finalist Detroit Southeastern and into the PSL championship game at Calihan Hall.

Steward is the third Cass Tech senior cage stud to accept a Division I college scholarship this year. Besides Steward, Technicians point guard D’Andre Johnson is inked with Florida Atlantic and fellow forward DeAngelo Stewart is on his way to the University of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

When you add in Detroit Pershing floor general, Kahlil Felder, signed with Oakland University, you have the only four players from the PSL’s senior hoop class destined for Division I schools next year – this number is in far contrast to the historic leagues’ talent-rich past – peaking between the 1960s and 1990s – where it wouldn’t be unusual for the city's premiere prep breeding ground to produce dozens of Division I prospects in any given season.

Spawning from that era of the PSL himself is Hall, an all-state selection out of none other than Cass Tech  in the 1980s that went on to have very good college (Washington-Virginia Tech) and pro careers (overseas) in the game of basketball.

Competing in the Horizon League, Youngstown State wrapped up its 2013 campaign 18-14 under eighth-year head coach Jerry Slocum.