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Hazelwood recognized as one of top 120 hoopsters

Mark Hazelwood makes a shot. (click for larger version)
August 24, 2011 - Oxford boys basketball might finally be getting on the map as senior Mark Hazelwood was selected to participate in the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan top 120 showcase camp on July 31 at South Lyon High School.

"I thought it was an awesome opportunity for him," said boys basketball coach Paul Marfia. "It's a great honor for the hard work he has put in and the respect shown by area coaches and Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan to select him to go down and do that."

The event, called Reaching Higher, takes the top 120 underclassmen in the state of Michigan and brings them together for a one day basketball camp filled with speakers, drills and competitive games.

"I played against real good competition," Hazelwood said. "A lot of the guys were going division one, so it is a whole different speed of game and playing against that makes me want to come back and makes playing in open gyms and things of that nature much easier."

Hazelwood added the experience was also going to "help me become ready to play some of the best competition on the basketball court in the Oakland Activities Association."

In order to be selected, the BCAM committee takes into account conference selections, all-state selections and what kids are being recruited by certain colleges in each area, according to Marfia.

While at the showcase, players listened to National Basketball and University of Michigan player Tim McCormick and current Memphis Grizzlies star Shane Battier before heading off and working on drills.

"We practiced coming off picks, shooting the ball, we had an offensive and defensive transition station and we had some agility stations where they measured (us)," Hazelwood said.

After the drills, the players were divided up into 10 teams and played four games.

"It was a great learning opportunity for him to get better," Marfia said.

In addition to playing in front of high school coaches from around Michigan, they also got to showcase their skills to college coaches and assistant coaches from 41 different schools in the area.

Marfia said there were a total of 79 college coaches present during the camp.

"It's an opportunity for folks to get to see them live in person and to see them compete against the best," Marfia said.

"Sometimes on a school team there might only be one college bound player out there, so you don't really get a feel of how that kid is going to do competing because in college, everyone is a college athlete," he added. "So it is sort of an early look to see how they would stack up, an opportunity for Mark to see how he stacks up and what he has to work on because sometimes your stats can be padded because you are not going up against the best in the state."

Marfia said he was proud of the way Hazelwood represented Oxford during the showcase.

"I thought he did really well; he played against some great competition out there in front of some college coaches and hopefully he uses it as a positive learning experience to get better and we will see how that progress comes Nov. 15," he added.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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