on January 12, 2017 8:29 PM, updated January 12, 2017 11:27 PM
The atmosphere in the gym was very exciting as Michigan State University men's basketball coach Tom Izzo was in attendance to see New Haven's boys basketball team defeat Warren Cousino 72-35.
"Got a call from Izzo this morning and he told me that he was coming down," New Haven coach Tedaro France said. "It was exciting for our kids and fans to have someone like him come see us play, its fun getting to know him.
"His presence brings a lot. Our fans were happy, their fans were happy — everyone was excited. He had to take a million pictures so I don't know how fun it is for him, but he knows who he is and its very cool to see him at high school game here in Macomb county."
Izzo stopped by to check out New Haven's Romeo Weems. Weems, who is the No. 17-ranked prospect in class of 2019 according to ESPN, had a solid night with 16 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals.
"They like Romeo a lot at MSU, they are very high on him and its not just his skill but his character," France said. "Romeo does it all for us, he can play the one through five. He's not just a great player, he is also a great leader — he really stepped up as a leader this year.
"It's nice for me as a coach to see a kid that as special as he is at 15-years-old, he has such a high basketball IQ. He's a great player, but he also gets all of his teammates involved. And he sets the tone on defense, he had 11 blocks last night and 4 tonight but that doesn't even count the amount of shots he changes."
With two wins in just two nights, New Haven moved to 7-1 on the season. France was happy to see his group grind out a solid performance on the second night of a back-to-back.
"They persevered, they didn't make excuses," France said. "Sometimes you see kids get tired and they go into a shell and make all types of excuses, but they gave it their all tonight. We played two games consecutively without any practice because school was cancelled on Tuesday, when you have kids that commit themselves to getting better it's special."
While Weems did a little bit of everything, it was Eric Williams who led New Haven on the scoring end with 18 points — Williams also put up four rebounds and three steals.
Despite boasting a roster that features several athletically and physically gifted athletes, it is work ethic that France believes separates his team from most.
"Eric is having a great year as well, him and Romeo have been a great 1-2 punch this season," France said. "Eric, Romeo, Tavares Oliver; all those guys come before school and work out, they work so hard. People assume for their height and everything success just comes easily, but they work incredibly hard."