Coach Tedaro France trains his kids in the sand pit during a summer strength and conditioning workout.
Championships are won in the off season. The New Haven Rockets boys basketball team is one of the hardest working programs in the state of Michigan. Win the Day!
After spending a year at Kent Prep School in Connecticut and reclassifying to the 2017 class. 2016 New Haven basketball alum Jerry Ben has committed to play basketball at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania.
All-Star will play junior season at New Haven
By George Pohly
Romeo Weems is staying put.
The subject of rumors that he’d leave New Haven before his junior basketball season, the 6-foot-6 Weems will play for the Rockets in 2017-18, his mother said.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Nyasha Weems, speaking for herself and Romeo's father, William Weems, said in a telephone interview. “There have been a lot of rumors, but until you hear it from me it’s just that – a rumor.
“We’re at New Haven for a reason. I have a great feeling about New Haven.”
Romeo Weems helped New Haven win the state Class B championship as a 10th-grader.
He averaged 18.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game as the Rockets went 27-1, won their first state crown and became the second boys basketball state champ from Macomb County.
One persistent rumor was that the 15-year-old Weems would transfer to U-D Jesuit, the 2016 state Class A champion that has won five consecutive Catholic League A-B Division tournament titles.
“I heard he’s going to several places,” Nyasha Weems said. “All the people who say things like that are just guessing.
“I take it all in stride. People are going to be people. I think (rumors) will keep coming.”
Romeo Weems, his mother said, has had a good experience at New Haven, where he enrolled as a freshman.
“He has friends. He’s learning. I like that he goes to school there. We’re OK with it,” she said.
Michigan State and Ohio State are among the colleges that have made scholarship offers to Weems, who was named the 2017 Michigan Class B Player of the Year by The Associated Press.
Tedaro France II, the Rockets’ coach, has helped her son grow as a person and as a player, Nyasha Weems said.
“I trust him,” she said. “He’s a person who helps (Romeo) every day. He’s dedicated to all the kids.”
New Haven has won back-to-back regional championships with Weems on the roster.
In 2016, the Rockets lost in a state quarterfinal game, but last season New Haven won a quarterfinal for the first time and beat Ludington 45-36 in the state final at the Breslin Center as Weems scored 19 points.
“He still has more to go,” Nyasha Weems said. “He wants to win another state championship. He wants to win Mr. Basketball (as a senior) and he wants to be No. 1 in his class in the national (recruiting) rankings. Those are his goals.
“I want him to get an education, play ball and have fun.”
New Haven started two seniors, guard A.J. Crawford and wing Eric Williams Jr., in the championship game against Ludington.
Weems, named to the AP and Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan all-state teams, also averaged 3.6 assists, 3.7 steals and 3.2 blocked shots last season.
Congrats to 6-6 wing Romeo Weems on receiving a scholarship offer from the University of Missouri #Mizzou #Tigers
Thanks to Lawyer Jones 1990 alum & captain of New Haven's 1st Regional Championship team and Dave & Busters for having us #FAMILY
Rockets celebrated its State Championship at Dave & Buster. Thanks to Rocket alum and Dave & Buster manager Lawyer Jones. Lawyer was a team captain on New Haven's first regional championship basketball team in 1990
Congrats to Eric Williams signing his national letter of intent to attend Duquesne University on a full basketball scholarship #FAMILY
It was a great day at Rocket Country as Eric Williams Jr realized his dream of playing D1 college basketball
Clarice Williams glanced at her son and smiled.
The mother of New Haven High School senior Eric Williams Jr. had finally witnessed all of her hard work pay off. For years, Clarice had worked to make her son's dream of playing college basketball come true. And on Tuesday she was there to watch him sign his letter of intent to play basketball for Division 1 Duquesne University.
"I feel blessed," Clarice said. "I have always known he was talented. We've made everything in our household revolve around Eric and it just paid off. From the time he was 4 years old until now, he has been playing basketball.
"We just try to put him in the right situations and I'm really happy about that."
For the Williams family, that meant making the tough decision of transferring from St. Clair to New Haven after his sophomore year. Williams Jr. called it the biggest adversity he faced during his high school athletic career.
"The transfer from St. Clair is the biggest reason for this (signing)," Williams Jr. said. "My development after that and the adversity of the whole situation helped me get here today.
"I think the coaches here helped me get here and I'm still working."
Watching from across the gym was New Haven coach Tedaro France II. The veteran coach took a moment to reflect on his senior and how far he had come since arriving at the school two short years ago.
"He didn’t have the mid-range game," France II recalled. "He wasn’t in great shape. He wasn’t explosive. We got him in the weight room and worked on his speed and his shot and his ball skills and just pounded and pounded it into him. Some days he hated me but it worked out for him because that’s what he wanted. Some kids want to be coached hard. Eric was a kid that was waiting and once he got pushed he just ran with it.
ADVERTISING"He is a great kid and it’s just great to see him get rewarded for his hard work. He wasn’t a kid that was highly ranked. He didn’t get mad that he wasn’t receiving the offers. He just kept working and working and it worked out for him. He bloomed late. He still hasn’t played his best ball. The sky is the limit."
Williams rise to the college level won't be the last for the Rockets. The reigning Class B state champions have another player that is being heavily recruited as well. Not far from Williams Jr. stood 6-foot-6 phenom Romeo Weems, who holds offers from Michigan State and Ohio State, among others.
The Rockets sophomore watched as Williams Jr. signed his letter of intent, knowing his day would also one day come.
New Haven's Romeo Weems comes in at No.20 in the nation and a five-star. Top player in Michigan. Won Class B state title in March.
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