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BOYS BASKETBALL: Renaissance brings Jordan, Jr. on board as new boys hoops coach

   | Scott Burnstein

BOYS BASKETBALL: Renaissance brings Jordan, Jr. on board as new boys hoops coach

Detroit Renaissance is hoping that Venias (Vito) Jordan, Jr. is the man that leads the Phoenix back to the Promised Land on the boys basketball floor.

Jordan, Jr., only three months removed from leading Detroit Community into the Class B state championship game, was recently hired as Renaissance’s new head coach, replacing Cameron Nichols.

While under Nichols the Phoenix were always one of the better teams in the PSL, they weren’t at the very top of the heap in the state as they were in the 2000s with Mark White at the helm. 

When White (currently head coach at Adrian College) held the clipboard, the program took home two state titles in a three-year span (2004 and 2006) and were pumping out high-grade Division I college recruits like Ricky Paulding (Missouri), Joe Crawford (Kentucky), Malik Hairston (Oregon) and Tajuan Porter (Oregon). Paulding, Crawford and Hairston were all drafted into the NBA.

Nichols was on the bench guiding the Phoenix for six years.

Renaissance hasn’t made a deep run in the state tournament in a number of seasons.

Community lost to Birmingham Detroit Country Day, 57-49, in the state finals in March at the Breslin Center. Bo Ziegler, an athletic, versatile 6-foot-7 swingman and Jordan, Jr.’s best player this year, is headed off to play his college hoops at the University of South Florida.

Jordan, Jr. played basketball and football at Alma College.

The Phoenix will return six varsity lettermen for the 2014 campaign, including a pair of intriguing sophomores in center Aleric Jackson and guard Justin Turner. Incoming senior James Murray will be the club’s captain.