Detroit King's Chansey Willis Jr. named Michigan AP Division 1 boys basketball Player of the Year

Chansey Willis Jr Detroit King Mr. Basketball
Posted at 11:08 AM, Apr 08, 2022

Chansey Willis Jr. helped Detroit King win its second straight Public School League championship, showing his ability to be a pass-first point guard and take over a game with his scoring.

Those skills led to him earning the Michigan Associated Press Division 1 Player of the Year honors in voting from a panel of sportswriters throughout the state.

Willis, who averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, 9.5 assists and five steals, previously was named Mr. Basketball in March. He had a triple-double with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the PSL title game win over Detroit Western.

“Everybody says he’s a scorer, which he is, obviously, but he’s the best point guard in the state of Michigan, too,” King coach George Ward of Willis said. “I’ve been coaching in this city and this state for over 25 years. I haven’t seen too many people that can be the best point guard in the state and the best scorer like he can.”

Willis was joined on the first-team by Mr. Basketball runner-up Kyler Vanderjagt of Grand Rapids Northview and Mr. Basketball finalist Kareem Rozier of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

Vanderjagt averaged 22.4 points and 4.6 rebounds to help lead his team to its first Final Four appearance in Northview. Rozier, who will play next year at Duquesne, was a four-year starting point guard for St. Mary’s. He averaged 16 points and eight assists to lead his team to a Catholic League title and state quarterfinal appearance.

Grand Blanc junior point guard R.J. Taylor and U-D Jesuit junior point guard Sonny Wilson were also first-team, All-State selections.

Taylor averaged 17.2 points and 4.5 assists, making 70 3-pointers. He scored 28 in a state championship game loss to Warren DeLaSalle, making 7 of 10 3-pointers to keep his team close.

Wilson averaged 18.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

The All-State team also includes: Warren DeLaSalle junior center Michael Sulaka, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s guard JaVaughn Hannah, Port Huron Northern junior Tyler Jamison, Flint Carman-Ainsworth’s Mehki Eillison and Saginaw Heritage sophomore Tyler Ode.

Sulaka averaged 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. He took his game to another level during the postseason by scoring 26 in a regional final win over Macomb Dakota, helping DeLaSalle upset Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in a quarterfinal and scoring 20 points in a state semifinal win over Grand Rapids Northview.

Hannah, who will play next year at Western Michigan, averaged 17 points. Jamison averaged 29 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists, setting a school-record with 59 points in a win over Warren Cousino.

Ellison averaged 25.7 points and 4.6 rebounds while Ode averaged 24 points.

Gjon Djokaj led DeLaSalle to the Division 1 state championship, earning Coach of the Year honors.

“Our motto this year was BOOM, brothers on one mission,” said Djokaj after the state title game win. “I have the utmost confidence in these kids. They put in the work. We put in the time. We’ve got six players that returned who were here last year (state semifinal loss to Ann Arbor Huron), so we have the experience needed.”

The 2021 Michigan Associated Press Division 1 boys basketball All-State team as selected by a panel of 12 Michigan sportswriters:
Player of the Year: Chansey Willis Jr., Detroit King
First-Team All-State
Chansey Willis Jr., Detroit King, Sr.
Kyler Vanderjagt, Grand Rapids Northview, Sr.
Mehki Eillison, Flint Carman-Ainsworth, Sr.
R.J. Taylor, Grand Blanc, Jr.
Tyler Jamison, Port Huron Northern, Jr.
Kareem Rozier, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Sr.
Tyler Ode, Saginaw Heritage, So.
Sonny Wilson, U-D Jesuit, Jr.
JaVaughn Hannah, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Sr.
Michael Sulaka, Warren De La Salle, Jr.
Coach of the Year
Gjon Djokaj, Warren De La Salle.
Second-Team All-State
(Nominees receiving two or more votes from the 12-member panel)
Robert Davis Jr., Hamtramck, Sr.
Trey McKenney, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Fr.
Scott Hughes, Kalamazoo Central, Sr.
Brady Ewing, Petoskey, Sr.
Anthony Benard, Grosse Pointe South, Jr.
Jayden Savoury, Detroit Renaissance, Fr.
Jordan Briggs, Muskegon, Jr.
Nino Smith, Warren De La Salle, Jr.
Cooper Craggs, Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Sr.
Curtis Williams, Birmingham Brother Rice, Jr.
Honorable Mention
Will Young, Okemos; Cooper Bright, Alpena; Bryce Radkta, Belleville; Elisha Warren, Brownstown-Woodhaven; Jalen Charity, Grand Rapids Northview; Simon Neuhaus, East Grand Rapids; Tymias Williams, Macomb Dakota; John Blackwell, Birmingham Brother Rice; Tyler Corstange, Richland Gull Lake; Grant Pikkaart, Portage Central; Nathan Louden, Richland Gull Lake; Thomas Dillard IV, Kalamazoo Central; Brandon Downs, Coldwater; Hayden Mueller, Battle Creek Lakeview; Ethan Crabtree, Coldwater; Mason Woods, East Lansing; Bryce Kurncz, DeWitt, Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech; Amari Allen, Hamtramck; Tyler Hamilton, River Rouge; Juwan Maxey, Detroit Renaissance; Lance Stone, Detroit Renaissance; Calvin Thompson-Marshall, Detroit Western; Trevor Zammarron, Greenville; E.J. Ryans, Grand Rapids Northview; Ramere Draper, Wyoming; Javio Otten, Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills; Anthony Sydnor III, Muskegon; Bashir Neely, Grand Haven; Travis Ambrose, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer; T.J. Mitchelle, Stevensville Lakestore; Caron Williams, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse; Noah Adamczyk, Bloomfield Hills; Alden Ritt, Lake Orion; Ryan Hurst, North Farmington; Xavier Thomas, Birmingham Brother Rice; Keegan Wasilk, Clarkston; Kam Mayes, Novi Detroit Catholic Central; Sam Lewis, Milford; Andrew Turnquist, Lakeland; Caleb Zurek, White Lake Lakeland; Drew Barrie, Midland; Evan Booker, Saginaw Arthur Hill; Jayden Potts, Ann Arbor Skyline; Enkidu Anthony, Ann Arbor Huron; Cal Bavineau, Dexter; Seth Logan; Fenton; Adam Jagacki, South Lyon East; Ashton Henderson, Oak Park; Nathan Steinman, Clarkston; Charles Turner, U-D Jesuit; Anthony Ribel, Traverse City Central; Carson Bourdo, Traverse City Central; Jon O’Connor, Traverse City West; Xavier Middleton, Monroe; Andrew Hollinger, Temperance-Bedford; Jack Lamancusa, Rockford; Sam Hoskin, Detroit Renaissance; Rylan Bowens, Detroit Cass Tech; Terrance Broughton, Detroit Cass Tech; Jalen Jackson, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore; Matthew Coffey, Detroit King; Zion Cooper, River Rouge; D.J. Johnson, Belleville; Hershel Marion, Hamtramck; Caden Pokorzynski, Rockford; Aaron Allen, Hamtramck; Nic Stump, Grand Haven; Harrison Sorrelle, Grand Haven; Jaxon Whitaker, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer; Reichen Lund, Linden; Ty Osborn, Flushing; Amont’e Allen-Johnson, Grand Blanc; Tae Boyd, Grand Blanc; Jacob Thompson, Sturgis; JJ Stevens, Sturgis.
Steven Laidlaw, Oxford.
Voting panel
Bill Broderick, Battle Creek Enquirer; Brian Calloway, Lansing State Journal; James Cook, Traverse City Record-Eagle; David Goricki, Detroit News; Steve Kaminski, Grand Rapids Press; Josh VanDyke, MLive (Muskegon); Brendan Savage, Flint Journal; George Pohly, Macomb Daily; Hugh Bernreuter, MLive (Saginaw); Greg Wickliffe, Ann Arbor News; Jason Juno, Ironwood Daily Globe; Doug Donnelly, Adrian Daily Telegram.