Pilots' three claim postseason basketball honors

WARREN, Mich. — With the basketball season coming to an abrupt halt four weeks ago, there was little to look forward to for those robbed of a chance to compete in the postseason.

But on Thursday, postseason basketball awards provided solace to some of the top players from around the state. And three De La Salle Collegiate players were among those honored.

Senior Josef Gjonaj earned Associated Press All-State honorable mention honors after leading the Pilots to a 13-8 overall record. The three-year letter winner averaged 16.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game this season, earning All-Catholic honors along the way. It was his second straight AP honorable mention honor.

Gjonaj and junior William Smythe also earned Detroit News All-State honors. Smythe averaged 10 points and knocked down 1.5 3-pointers per game. Both players, along with junior Linden Holder, also made the Detroit News All-East teams. Gjonaj was a first-team selection while Smythe and Holder were honorable mentions. Holder averaged 12.3 points and 3.0 assists per game this past season.
Ypsilanti Lincoln sophomore Emoni Bates was named Player of the Year in Division 1, according to The Associated Press. Orchard Lake St. Mary's Lorne Bowman earned first-team all-state, while teammate Julian Roper was honorable mention. Other Catholic League Central division players to be recognized were Jon Brantley of Brother Rice (HM) and Sonny Wilson of U-D Jesuit (HM).

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