2,241 Reasons to Watch Chris Hass

February 14, 2012

Chris Hass began his freshman basketball season with his sights set on breaking an MHSAA career record.

But if you’ve heard at all of the Pellston High standout, it’s probably not the record you’d think.

Hass is one of just 34 players in MHSAA history to score at least 2,000 points. Only nine players have scored more than his 2,241 points heading into Wednesday’s game against Bellaire.

That record he wanted to break? Career assists, of course. And Hass has a bunch of those too. But the 6-foot-5 senior clearly is known for scoring in bunches few in MHSAA history have equaled.

“For me, it wasn’t something where it was my goal. I definitely feel honored to play on a team that’s willing to give me an opportunity to do that,” Hass said. “I guess it’s a big deal in northern Michigan, getting our name out there. Pellston is a small school, and to hit 2,000 points, it’s starting to get Pellston on the map, which is what the community deserves.”

Hass earned one of this week’s MHSAA High 5s not just for the ridiculous numbers he’s put up this season and over the last four, but for how he’s led the Class D Hornets into at least a glimmer of the state spotlight.

Pellston is 14-1 and can avenge its lone loss tonight against Bellaire, which beat the Hornets 75-58 on Jan. 17. Bellaire is ranked No. 1 and Pellston No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press Class D state poll.

Hass has a history with Bellaire – he scored 26 points in the fourth quarter alone before fouling out in a loss last season to Eagles. That’s the fourth-most points scored in a quarter in MHSAA history – and just one of the many listings Hass has or will have in the record book after his high school career ends sometime next month.

This season, he’s averaging 30.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, six assists, 4.5 steals and 2.5 blocked shots per game. He’s always been a strong ball-handler and continues to man the point despite an ability to play any position. He’s making 55 percent of his shots from the floor – including an incredible 52-percent success clip from 3-point range (he’s made 40 from beyond the arc).

“On nights when we really don’t need him to (score), he almost disappears into the background a little bit to get his teammates involved,” Cliff Hass said. “It’s really about the team, chemistry. He’s always one of the leaders trying to get chemistry (right). Does he love to have that 57-point night? That’s great, but he’s all about winning.”

So much so that Chris Hass almost committing to play next for Bethel College (Ind.), which has won seven NAIA national championships under its current coach, before settling on Bucknell after falling in love with the program and campus during a visit. There, Hass will join 2011 Petoskey graduate Cory Starkey on a team that made the NCAA Tournament last season.

"First and foremost, Chris is just a terrific scorer," said Bucknell coach Dave Paulsen in his program’s early-signing day press release. "He is an excellent shooter with great range, but he is also athletic and `bouncy' and can get to the rim. We expect that Chris will be able to give us a real explosive offensive presence from the perimeter."

Hass’ point total is exactly 600 short of the MHSAA record set by Mio’s Jay Smith from 1976-79. It’s unlikely Hass will break that record – he’d have to average 50 points a game through the MHSAA Final just to tie it – but being in the conversation is something special in itself.

Filling it up is nothing new in the Hass family. Older sister Stephanie Hass held the MHSAA girls scoring record with 2,732 points for a decade until Central Lake’s Jasmine Hines broke it last season. Hass, who played high school at Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian – and then at Saginaw Valley State University – finished with a career scoring average of 31.4 points per game, tops in the record book.

And she never took it easy on her little brother.

Chris Hass remembered once, when he was 8 or so, getting so angry during a game of one-on-one that he started throwing rocks at his sister. But he also watched and emulated how she worked to improve her game. And around 12 years old, he beat her one-on-one for the first time.

“I do see similarities in both, offensively; ball-handling was probably their number one attribute. It’s the first thing I really noticed,” said Cliff Hass, their father and also Pellston’s boys varsity coach. “(And) they both developed that mentality of being able to score at any time.

“I tell all the players I coach, if you touch the ball 94 feet away (from the basket), your first goal is to score from 94 feet away. Being in the mentality of looking to score, you put pressure on the defense, and they have to stop you. And they might need a second person to try to stop you. “

Chris echoes his dad’s philosophy. But he wanted to make sure people saw him as more than a scorer. At Harbor Light in sixth and seventh grade, he’d been mostly a distributor passing to Collin Hewitt, who now plays at Spring Arbor. But Hass switched to his dad’s school for ninth grade, and began switching roles as well.

He still tries to get as many assists as he can. But although Pellston has other scorers (senior Andy Hamlin tallied his 1,000th career point this season), Hass knows for the Hornets to continue this run – and get a chance to show what they can do against competition from further down state – he needs to keep putting up the points. 

“When you say you’re from the Petoskey area, people have no idea where that is,” Hass said. “Knowing we finally maybe might get some respect, I’m definitely excited about it.”

St. Clair County Celebrates 1st Mr. Basketball Winner, PHN's Jamison

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

March 29, 2023

The Jamison family has spent plenty of time over the years driving long distances as Tyler chased his basketball dreams.

Bay & ThumbAfter the Port Huron Northern senior achieved one of the biggest ones, they had to put some more mileage on the family vehicle.

As the newly-crowned Mr. Basketball, Jamison was invited to a special presentation during the Boys Basketball Finals this past Saturday afternoon at the Breslin Center. It was an invitation Tyler and his family didn’t hesitate to accept, and the drive from Port Huron to East Lansing was nothing.

But it did cause a pretty big change to some other travel plans.

Tyler and his family were scheduled to fly to Florida on Friday for spring break. That flight had to be canceled, though, and instead, the family made the drive down later.

“There were some jokes about just leaving me and letting me find my own way down there,” Jamison said.

While they joke, there’s nowhere the Jamisons would have rather been Saturday than at the Breslin. As a true basketball family – Tyler’s dad Brian is also the coach at Northern, and his brother Alex was a standout freshman for the Huskies – they have a great appreciation for the Mr. Basketball Award and its significance.

“I had said a while ago, ‘Hey, if we’re still in the tournament, we’ll be playing Friday,” Brian Jamison said. “I even mentioned that it would be a miracle, but Tyler could win Mr. Basketball. Now we’re eating plane tickets and driving down to Florida. But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we’re not missing this.”

Jamison was the overwhelming winner of the award, which is named after Hal Schram and given out by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan. He received 3,058 points in the vote to become its 43rd winner. Curtis Williams of Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (2,004 points), Kaden Brown of Grand Rapids Catholic Central (1,918), Sonny Wilson of Detroit U-D Jesuit (1,883) and Ryan Hurst of North Farmington (1,811) were the other finalists.

“It was just insane,” Tyler Jamison said. “I can’t even really put into words how I felt – it was just a dream come true, a culmination of all the hard work that’s been put in over the years. My mom was in the other room (when his dad called to tell him), and I just hugged her and we were kind of screaming. The dog was getting riled up. It was fun. There were a few tears shed.”

Jamison throws down a dunk.Jamison, who signed with Fairleigh Dickinson in December, finished the season averaging 26.7 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.3 steals per game. He was named the Macomb Area Conference White division MVP after leading Northern to the league title and a 20-4 overall record.

Even with all that, winning the most prestigious individual basketball award in the state didn’t seem like a reality.

“We purposely try to play a tough schedule, and we purposely got into some showcases because we wanted people to see, not only him play, but us play,” Brian Jamison said. “We had beaten Skyline and Hamtramck, and went up to Croswell-Lexington and won up there, and I thought, ‘OK, now he’s done it against some of the better teams.’ Up to that point, when we played those tougher teams, he’s always showed out well, but it’s different when you’re not winning them. But at that point, I thought he had a chance. Really, I was just hoping he would get on the list. To win it was kind of above and beyond what I had hoped for.”

On the court, Tyler’s impact on the program was pretty obvious and immediate.

He’s the program’s all-time leading scorer – a record he set as a junior – with 1,763 career points. He also holds Northern records for career rebounds (825), points in a game (59), rebounds in a game (28), career field goals made (638) and career free throws made (439). As a junior, he was named MAC Blue MVP.

Northern did not lose a league game in either of the past two seasons.

But Northern is likely to see future success because of Tyler’s non-statistical impact.

Leading a young team, including a group of star freshmen – his brother Alex, Cam Harju and Amir Morelan – was a major part of Tyler’s job this season.

Northern’s home games were must-see events this winter, as the Huskies were one of Division 1’s top teams, and Tyler was providing nightly highlights and must-see performances. Even in his final game, a loss against Macomb Dakota in the District Final, Jamison treated the standing-room crowd with a 46-point performance and a halfcourt shot at the third-quarter buzzer in a valiant effort.

“That’s the big thing, you want the students and the school community to support you, and they did an amazing job,” Tyler Jamison said. “We also had people from the community that wanted to support us and watch us play. Port Huron High had a really good season, too, and I think both schools in the city had that public support. That’s huge. It makes you feel like you’re playing for more than yourself.”

Among those crowds were the next generation of Huskies, some of whom were coached by Tyler in youth basketball. As he’s the first Mr. Basketball winner from St. Clair County, those kids now have a hometown example of someone who has reached the highest heights.

“I think interest gets sparked when the little kids come to the gym, like, ‘Hey, I want to do that,’” Brian Jamison said. “They want to play for Northern or (Port Huron) High. And with him winning Mr. Basketball, I think it gives kids a little bit of ‘Hey, why not me?’ I do think it helps motivate younger people. We’ve had great crowds at our games. I think the area is excited about basketball. It really is a great basketball area.”

With all of that excitement surrounding him, Tyler had one more challenge after the season – keeping the secret that he had won. He found out six days before the award was announced.

“It was terrible – especially when it’s something of that magnitude,” he said. “You want to tell everyone. You want to tell your friends and family. It was hard to be like, ‘No, I don’t know.’”

Paul CostanzoPaul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Tyler Jamison, second from left, with his parents and brother, stands with his newly-received Mr. Basketball Award trophy during the ceremony at the Detroit Free Press. (Middle) Jamison throws down a dunk. (Photos courtesy of the Jamison family.)