The Associated Press
Seeing yourself passed in the record books can sometimes be bittersweet, knowing you’re moving down a list that has been molded by years and years of great player performances by some of the best talent to grace the basketball court.
The sweet part for Allen Park Inter-City Baptist coach Mark Kraatz this season was seeing his son, Evan, pass him on the state’s all-time career assist list. In fact, Evan, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, passed by his father; former Wyoming Park and Michigan State standout Drew Neitzel; and Eric Turner (Flint Central/Michigan) to become the state’s all-time best ball distributor. He finished his career with 803 assists.
“When you coach a player who breaks a record, it’s special,” Mark Kraatz said. “When that player happens to be your son and it happens to be a (number) you held, it really brought me to tears. I’m just so grateful to have been a part of that — to have witnessed it.”
This season, Evan Kraatz averaged 17.3 points, 9.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 4.6 steals, leading the Chargers to an 18-7 record and a trip to the regional final. Kraatz was named the Associated Press Class D Player of the Year.
Inter-City Baptist fell 67-62 to two-time defending state champion Southfield Christian in that regional final. The Eagles have two players on this year’s Class D All-State first team, seniors Demarco White and Lindsey Hunter IV. White averaged 9.2 points and 8.4 rebounds, while Hunter — a four-year starter — averaged 14.3 points and 1.7 steals per game.
Also earning first-team honors in Class D are Brandon Childress of Baldwin, Joey Duncan of Cedarville, Kevin Gamble of Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart, Nick Hincka of Posen, David Loney of Frankfort, Marcus Matelski of Boyne Falls, Travis Vincent of Powers North Central and Mike Warren of Fruitport Calvary Christian.