Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Retirement Party

One of Oakland County's all-time greatest hoopsters, Rashad Phillips, had his college jersey retired at halftime of a recent UofD-Mercy basketball game, placing his No. 3 in the rafters of Calihan Hall alongside the numbers of other Titan cage legendslike former NBA vets Dave Debusschere, John Long and Terry Tyler. Phillips, who prepped at Ferndale in the mid-1990s, is arguably the best point guard in the history of the school, leading the Titans to first-round upset wins in the NCAA Tournament in 1998 and 1999 and earning conference Player of the Year honors twice. He is the only player in UofD-Mercy history to garner career totals of 2000-plus points and 500-plus assists.
Finishing his college career in 2001, he left the Titans as the program's all-time leading scorer (2,319 points), a record that still stands today and embarked on what would become a highly-successful career playing overseas, winning league MVP awards three separate times (in Italy, Latvia and Saudi Arabia) in the 2000s.
Back in his high school days at Ferndale, the dynamic and explosive "Little Big Man" – Phillips was barely 5-foot-9 – dominated the high school backcourt scene in Metro Detroit. As a sophomore and junior in 1994 and 1995, he led the Eagles to league and district championships. When he was a senior, he led Oakland County in scoring, by pumping in 26 points a game to go along with seven assists and five steals per contest. Showing that his remarkable skill wasn't exclusive to the court, in the classroom Phillips earned his Bachelor's Degree in communications with a 3.0 GPA in just three years while he was attending UofD.
Finishing up his pro playing career less than a year ago, Phillips currently lives in Auburn Hills and owns and runs Rashad Phillips Skills Unlimited in Rochester Hills, tutoring aspiring college basketball players in the fundamentals and finer points of the game.
In unquestionably the coolest part of this story and in a move that shows what a genuine CLASS ACT he is, Phillips is allowing current UofD-Mercy frosh phenom floor general Ray McCallum, Jr. (Birmingham Detroit Country Day) to don his old No. 3 Titans jersey for his career on campus.
Coming from someone who personally saw him play in both high school and college, I believe NBA superstar Kobe Bryant sums up Phillips' career on the hardwood the best.
Bryant, who played with Phillips in several offseason camps and all-star games when they were both teenagers, was once quoted as saying, "Rashad Phillips is the player never to drafted into the NBA"
All I can say to that is, TRUE!


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