Regularly, BallinMichigan.com will look back at the yearly Mr. Basketball award with the benefit of hindsight. These posts will look back at the top five finishers at the time, provide updates on what they’ve done since and, for the fun of it, let readers re-vote to see if the results would be different if we include their full college and professional bodies of work. Thanks to Ron Pesch, MHSAA historian, for the great Mr. Basketball voting database he provides online.
- Mark Macon, Saginaw Buena Vista
- Anderson Hunt, Detroit Southwestern
- Todd Jenks, Haslett
- Tony Warren, Battle Creek Central
- Daryl Reed, Saginaw
Well, the most successful player post-high school in this class was undoubtedly Detroit Pershing‘s Steve Smith, but because we’re just sticking to the original top fives from the year of the voting, Smith will be ineligible in the discussion of who has had the best college/pro career.
Macon left Saginaw Buena Vista and went on to become one of the best players in Temple University history. He was part of a fantastic group of guards at Temple that included future NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner Aaron McKie and future NBA All-Star Eddie Jones. Macon left Temple as the school’s all-time leading scorer and was a lottery pick of the Denver Nuggets in 1991. As a NBA player, though, he never found the scoring ability he showed in college. He was a pretty good college 3-point shooter, but never developed range out to the NBA 3-point line. That, combined with his low field goal percentage and the fact that he was one of many guards who, once they get to the NBA, find themselves somewhere between a point guard and a shooting guard with no ‘natural’ position at that level prevented him from ever really finding a niche in the league, though he did play six seasons. He also played professionally overseas.
He became a college assistant coach, working on the staff at Temple and then Georgia State. He eventually got the head coaching job at Division I Binghamton, but following a scandal that cost the previous coach his job and cost the team a significant portion of its talent, Macon didn’t walk into a great situation. Binghamton won just two games last season and Macon was fired at the end of the season.
Anderson Hunt’s post high school career started off fantastically — he won the Most Outstanding Player award for the 1990 National Champion UNLV basketball team, one of the most iconic college basketball teams in recent history, both because of the incredible style the Runnin’ Rebels played on the court and because of the many NCAA scandals associated with Jerry Tarkanian and the program. Hunt was a part of that fall, though far from the only part. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
In May 1991, the Review-Journal published a front-page photo of UNLV players Anderson Hunt, David Butler and Moses Scurry in a hot tub with known sports fixer Richard Perry.
Hunt left after his junior season, entered the NBA Draft and went undrafted, then embarked on a pro career that took him all over the world. After his playing career ended, according to the Review-Journal, Hunt went back to school to finish his degree:
If he could turn back the clock, Hunt said he still would not take Tarkanian’s advice to stay in school for his senior year.
“I don’t regret leaving school early; they can say what they want to say,” Hunt said. “I didn’t make the NBA, but I don’t have regrets. My only regret is not playing baseball. I was way better in baseball as a shortstop.
“I’m going to come back and finish up my degree in social work. I’ve got to talk to the academic adviser, but I’m pretty close. There’s a lot of kids and a lot of families that need help.”
Warren was a NJCAA All-American at Vincennes University before finishing his career at Farleigh Dickinson. Warren now runs a camp in Battle Creek.
Jenks and Reed
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much info on what Jenks and Reed did after their high school playing days.
Unofficially, we’ll just hand this award to Smith, a Michigan State great, a multiple-time NBA All-Star and currently an analyst for NBA TV. Officially, though, it’s a two-person race between Macon and Hunt. Macon had a longer and more lucrative pro career, but what Hunt accomplished on an iconic college team is enough to at least make this voting interesting.
- 2003 Michigan Mr. Basketball Remix
- 2000 Michigan Mr. Basketball Remix
- 1983 Michigan Mr. Basketball Remix
- 1994 Michigan Mr. Basketball Remix
- 1985 Michigan Mr. Basketball Remix
- 1991 Michigan Mr. Basketball Remix