In Play with Tom Markowski

Friends, peers, Derrick McDowell and Ken Flowers to coach different teams in the semifinals on Friday

Basketball   | Tom Markowski

State Champs! Sports Network


Detroit – Detroit Redford closed in June of 2007 and there will be a reunion of sorts on Friday at the Breslin Center when Detroit Western plays U-D Jesuit in a Class A semifinal at 2:50 p.m. and that evening when Detroit Henry Ford plays Cadillac in a Class B semifinal at approximately 7:50.

It will be the first state semifinal for both Western and Henry Ford.

Western coach Derrick McDowell and Henry Ford coach Ken Flowers both coached at Redford. This synergy goes back to the late 1990s when Flowers played for McDowell at Redford.

The late 2000s were difficult times, financially and in other ways. During this time many school closings took place in urban areas and we lost schools like Redford, Detroit Mackenzie, Flint Central, Detroit Cooley and others.

Redford was never a basketball power until McDowell got there. In the 1992-93 season Redford didn’t win a game. It took McDowell to build a program and in ’96, Flowers’ senior year, Redford played Detroit Pershing and Mr. Basketball winner Winfred Walton for the Detroit Public School League title.

In ’02 Redford reached a state final (Class A) for the first time.

Flowers continued his playing career at a junior college in California before transferring to Concordia College in Ann Arbor.

After college Flowers came back home and was a volunteer assistant at Redford in ’03 and the next season he became the junior varsity head coach. The ’03 was another cornerstone. That year Dion Harris was named Mr. Basketball becoming the first player from Redford to win the award[T1] .

McDowell left Redford after the ’05 season and Flowers took over.

Flowers picked up where McDowell left off winning the school’s second consecutive PSL title and reaching the Class A semifinals.

In ’07 Redford had its best season. The Huskies won their third consecutive PSL title, another Harris (no relation), Corperryale Harris, better known as Manny, won Mr. Basketball and Redford made it to the Class A final where it lost to Draymond Green and Saginaw.

Then the bottom dropped out. Flowers landed at Henry Ford and has been there ever since.

McDowell returned to the PSL after a college coaching stint and gave life to another dormant program, Western.

Now they’re coaching in the state semifinals on the same day.

In the quarterfinals Western defeated Ypsilanti, 58-37, and Henry Ford got past New Haven, xx-xx.

“Coming back to Redford was like fate,” Flowers said. “When I got there they had the same administrators, the same coaches, same teachers when I went to school there.

“Derrick taught me discipline, and how to hold