Division 1 schools sign Douglass athletes
By Donald Barnes
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Frederick Douglass Academy’s Terrell Hales and Darrell Davis have accepted Division 1 basketball scholarships. Hales and Davis have led their team to three consecutive district titles.
On the first day of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s early signing period for Division 1 men’s basketball, Hales signed a letter of intent to Cleveland State while Davis signed to the University of Dayton; both will receive full scholarships.
Douglass head basketball coach Nkwane Young says Hales and Davis are hard workers and deserve the opportunity to showcase their skill on a higher level.
Young has been with the program for eight years, the longest a coach has been at one school in coaching basketball in Detroit, he says. Additionally, Young says during his tenure at the school all of his players have gone to college.
“We are very proud of the program and where it’s going,” Young said. “Since I’ve been here we’ve won five districts.”
Hales and Davis have a combined grade-point average of 3.8. The student athletes strive to stay on top of their studies because they realize playing basketball alone did not earn them scholarships.
“I’m going to be the second person to go to college in my family,” Davis said. “If you keep your grades up, being successful and having a career will be easier.”
Hales says coach Young helps him stay focused and makes sure he attends study hall sessions after school.
Hales will be the first person in his family to attend college. “I knew I needed good grades because I didn’t want to go to a junior college,” he said.
Last year with Hales and Davis at the helm, Douglass went 17-7 during the regular season.
“When I first got to Douglass my weaknesses were strength, playing defense and playing strong,” Davis said. “After I got here I got stronger and better at shooting the ball.”Hales says he also wasn’t very strong when entering the program but over time Young and his coaching staff helped him improve.
According to Hales, University of Dayton was his first choice for schools. “I trust them and its not too far away from my family,” Hales said. “It’s somewhere I feel I can get better, stronger and become a better young man.”
Coach Young says if it weren’t for coach Curtis Stove, founder of Nets Youth Sports, the boys would not have attended Douglass.
Coach Stove polished Hales and Davis’ game in their early years, beginning when the boys were 10-years-old and continuing through middle school.
Stove runs his program out of the Adams/Butzel Recreation Complex.
He says he coached a few of Hales’ older cousins who referred him to the future standout. Davis lives behind the complex and was eager to partake in the program.
According to Stove, when Hales and Davis were 12, their team won the Think Detroit Pal AAU Division 1 championship in a 14 and under tournament.
Winning the championship qualified the team to compete in the national championship in Orlando, Fla., but a lack of funds denied the young men the opportunity to make the trip.
“What I see for them in the future is college graduation,” Stove said. “These young men work hard in the gym and with their studies.”
Coach Young says he wants to see Hales and Davis lead the team to a city and state championship this year.
“I just want to see them become better leaders,” Young said. “We know what they can do so it’s about making the guys around them better.”
Detroit Douglass will participate in the Derrick Coleman Classic Dec. 9 at Mumford High School. They play Chicago Bogan at 5:30 p.m.