State Champs Sports Network
New Haven – There’s no question that this is the tallest team New Haven has had. What is still to be determined is if this is the best it’s had to offer.
Tedaro France II, a New Haven alum, is in his seventh season as head coach at New Haven and there are times when he’ll start no player under 6-foot-4. That 6-4 player is D’Monta Harris, a senior who averages 23.3 points and 14 rebounds. Harris, a transfer from Waterford Mott, is being recruited by a handful of Division II schools.
“He wants to learn,” France said. “He wants to get better. He’s starting to excel. Teams focus on our bigs so he’s able to get to the glass.”
New Haven’s tallest player is 6-11 junior Innocent Nwoko. Nwoko was born in Nigeria and his first sport was soccer. Nwoko scored 37 goals this past fall but his main sport now is basketball. Nwoko committed to Central Michigan. He’s averaging 8.8 points and five blocks.
Next there’s 6-9 junior Jerry Ben. He averages 10.3 points.
New Haven’s most versatile player is 6-6 senior Austin Sherrell. He averages 15 points and six assists, and is an exceptional ball handler.
Rounding out this group is 6-6 senior Josh Harris (no relation), New Haven’s most athletic player. Harris is the defending Division 3 110-meter high hurdle (14.96) champion and Grand Valley State is recruiting him for both track and basketball.
France said Ben is more “skilled” than Nwoko whom France said is still “raw”.
Naturally teams in the Macomb Area Conference have difficulty matching up with the Rockets. New Haven is 10-0, 5-0 in the MAC Gold Division, and ranked No. 8 in Class B.
The Rockets are averaging 69 points but France said what makes this team so good is their play on the defensive end. New Haven is giving up just 45.1 points.
“We play 10 kids,” France said. “And each has taken at least one charge. With our bigs, you’d think we’d sit back in a zone. But we pressure teams. We wear down teams with our speed and athleticism.”
The book is still out on whether this will be New Haven’s best. In 2012 New Haven reached the Class C quarterfinals before losing to Shelby.