For The Associated Press
NEW HAVEN (AP) — Romeo Weems headlines a youth movement in Michigan boys Class B basketball.
The versatile 6-foot-6 New Haven sophomore was named The Associated Press Player of the Year after leading the Rockets to a third consecutive regional championship, the school's second with Weems in the lineup.
"He means so much to our team," New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. "He does so much. He can play anywhere, (positions) one through five.
"He’s a defensive presence. He can rebound and he can score, too."
Weems, who has received scholarship offers from Michigan State and Ohio State, averaged 18 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.9 steals, 3.6 assists and 2.8 blocked shots per game while leading New Haven to a 25-1 record and the school’s first state semifinal berth.
"He makes everyone around him better because he can do so much," France said.
Weems, who had 15 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists, three blocked shots and two steals in the Rockets’ 73-66 quarterfinal victory over Detroit Osborn on Tuesday, was one of two sophomores named to the all-state team, which included Benton Harbor freshman Carlos Johnson.
Mark Watts of Detroit Old Redford was the other sophomore voted to the team by a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.
The 10-player squad also included three juniors: Carl Bow Jr. of Hazel Park, Bryce Drews of Hillsdale and Lamar Norman of Wyoming Godwin Heights.
Seniors selected were Tyreese Gardner of Comstock, Avery Hudson of Wayland, Darian Owens-White of River Rouge and Mario Whitley of Frankenmuth.
Johnson and Owens-White helped Benton Harbor and River Rouge, respectively, win regional championships.
New Haven plays Benton Harbor at 6 p.m. Friday at the Breslin Center.
The all-state team was selected by a panel of Michigan sportswriters.
Tom Lewis of Williamston was named Coach of the Year. He led the Hornets to a regional championship and a 21-4 record heading into quarterfinal play.
Weems, a New Haven captain, is often one of the Rockets' more staunch critics after games.
"Everybody came out not ready to play," he said after a 97-66 regional semifinal victory over Flint Northwestern. "We were able to win because maybe we're a little bit better, but everybody didn't play their best tonight.
"But we'll go to practice and get things right."
Weems had a triple-double in that game with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
"He's unselfish," France said. "He wants to get his whole team involved because he knows that we're going to be a better team if he gets everyone involved. He sets it all up for us. He sets the tone."
Weems was New Haven's first AP Player of the Year.