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BOYS BASKETBALL: Inaugural Michigan Elite 25 ready to roll next month

   | Scott Burnstein

BOYS BASKETBALL: Inaugural Michigan Elite 25 ready to roll next month

FARMINGTON HILLS – The best of the best on the state’s prep boys basketball court will gather together soon.

The place: the first annual Michigan Elite 25.

This week, Farmington Hills-based Dietz Trott, a sports entertainment and management company, in tandem with retired NBA veteran and television and radio commentator Tim McCormick announced the creation of the Michigan Elite 25, a showcase camp that will tip-off the first of three sessions next month and host the top 25 players in the state from each grade for a program that will focus on skill-development on and off the floor.

The founder and president of Dietz Trott, Mike Dietz, was a standout on the local high school hardwood at Birmingham Brother Rice prior to playing in college at Western Michigan in the early 1980s.

Dietz and McCormick, a former all-state center at Clarkston that went on to find success in the paint in college at Michigan and in the pros with multiple NBA franchises in the 1980s and 90s, have been close friends for decades and came up with the idea of the Michigan Elite 25 together a couple years ago.

They sent out invitations for the inaugural event Friday morning and hope to have their respective class rosters firmly in place in the next week or so.

"I honestly believe this will become something very special for the state's basketball community," McCormick said. "It's unique, in that I don't know of any other states that put something like this on, but I think it's needed. Frankly, the caliber of basketball in the area has dropped over the years. We're taking the onus on us to help bring it back up to where it rightfully should be. A lot of it starts with core fundamentals."

There will be a dozen high school head coaches from around the state asked to participate in the camp, which will run sessions in August (17-18), September (22 and 29) and October (13 and 20).

On the evening of August 13, Dietz and McCormick will hold a Michigan Elite 25 Coaching Academy at Calihan Hall on the campus of the University of Detroit-Mercy, where Division I college head coaches Tom Izzo (Michigan State), John Beilein (Michigan), Greg Kampe (Oakland), Keno Davis (Central Michigan), Steve Hawkins (Western Michigan) and Ray McCallum, Sr. (U-D Mercy) will all speak and deliver issue-specific presentations.

Retired since 1992, McCormick remains active in the National Basketball Players Association and in 1993 helped organize the NBPA Top 100 Camp, an annual prep All-American combine that has produced close to 300 future NBA players (see Kobe Bryant Kevin Durant) and celebrated its 20th anniversary last month.

McCormick desired to take the concept of the Top 100 and bring a like-minded, expanded version to the Michigan high school basketball scene. He shared his vision with Dietz in 2011 at their sons’ high school basketball game no less and the duo set off to make the dream a reality.

Detroit Cass Tech will host all three two-day sessions of the Michigan Elite 25.