Jamel Hatchett found himself on this week’s episode of The Backcourt with Ken Buckner as a Player to Watch in the NABL. Saturday night at the Aldrich Center on the campus of Grace Bible College, the Grand Rapids Danger guard did not disappoint.
Hatchett poured in 28 points and three others scored at least 20 points each to lead the Danger to a 146-121 win over the West Michigan Lake Hawks.
Handling the point guard duties for the third straight season, the 6-foot graduate of East Kentwood High School holds court for the Danger as they enter their first season in the NABL (North American Basketball League) after playing the previous two in the ABA (American Basketball Association). Hatchett also led the team in their first game of the year scoring 37 points in a 144-115 road win over the DuBois Dream.
“We’re going to make noise. We’re going to be together and continue to grow as a unit…I know we’re going to surprise some people (in the NABL)”, Hatchett said after the game.
Danger veterans Derrick Brooks (24) and Kulawnie Saunders (21) and newcomer Miles Robinson (21) each scored at least 20 points. First year Danger players Trent Hobson (16 points) and Arsenio Arrington (11 points) started and each shined at different moments throughout the night.
Hobson maintained relentless defensive pressure and his quickness caused problems for the Lake Hawks on the defensive end. His 16 points came in the decisive 2nd and 3rd quarters as Grand Rapids built a 30-point lead.
Arrington, coming off a great season in the WHAC with the Aquinas Saints, in going to be a force in the middle in this league. He struggled to get his game going early, missing couple easy put backs, but found his rhythm with a thundering dunk off a rebound. Arrington would take a weird fall later in the game but walk off under his own control.
Grand Rapids led 37-25 after the first quarter, 74-49 at half and 114-90 after the third quarter.
Adam Rayner, the 7-foot center who recently played his final season at Grace Bible College, made his home debut for the Danger and scored 2 points late in the 4th quarter.
The Danger return to action on Saturday, April 14th at 6 p.m. when they host the DuBois Dream at the Aldrich Center on the campus of Grace Bible College.
Hatchett had a message for his teammates after the game, “Go eat!”.
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