Pershing High School head coach Arthur Canada gave his team some time off of practice because they don't have a game for another week. But the team's top dog, DeShawn Sims isn't at home watching after school reruns. He's in the weight room, trying to improve and get stronger. And that's where we caught up with the 6-foot-7, 222-pound forward and got the latest on his heavy recruitment.
Pershing had two early losses but went undefeated over the last two months before losing to Redford High School in the city championship. The team's success can be pointed back to the play of Sims.
Pershing athletic director and former hoops head coach Gerald Weatherspoon handed the reigns of the hoops program to Canada, one of his assistant coaches, this season. Both coaches speak highly of the No. 47 ranked junior in the country.
"He's been real big for us this year," Canada said. "He's leading us in scoring (25 points per game), in rebounding (13.5 rebounds a contest) and probably even blocks. He's contributed a lot for us in more ways than that. He's our captain for us. We need him to dominate at both ends of the floor."
"He's one of the best young men around," Weatherspoon, who coached former Missouri forward Arthur Johnson, said. "(DeShawn) has numerous post moves but can shoot the three. He's good. You have to rank him right up there with Arthur Johnson. He stacks up with those kinds of players."
It's no secret that Sims is one of the nation's top prospects. Just look at the teams interested in him. Sims said he's received scholarship offers from Connecticut, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon and Syracuse.
Canada said the schools that have offered have been up to see him play this year. Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Miami and Memphis have also been in this year. Even with all of the attention, recruiting hasn't been a top priority for the junior.
"I don't really have a top five right now," Sims said. "I like a bunch of schools. It's still early. By the time I narrow it down, my game should be really improved. That's what I'm focusing on right now."
He recently visited Syracuse when the Orange hosted Notre Dame.
"I have never seen anything like that in my life. It's a big dome but they nearly filled the place up," Sims said. "Syracuse is a good school. Basically, it's in the toughest conference in the country. I like the Big East. It's a hard-nosed conference. From top to bottom, they are probably the best. The ACC is good but they aren't as strong and as deep. Plus, Syracuse is just a really good school. I like them."
Seeing Sims at a Michigan and Michigan State is normal. You can't blame one of the best players in Michigan for going to as many games as he can.
"They are my home schools so you know I'm going to get out there and see them the most," Sims said. "I probably know the most about them. There is some major interest there just in case (I don't leave the state)."
Sims will rejoin The Family AAU program this spring and summer, making stops at Boo Williams on April 8-10.