There were plenty of factors surrounding Tyler Jamison’s recent record-breaking performance that made it special.
The Port Huron Northern junior scored 47 points against Troy Athens on Dec. 30, breaking the school’s single-game record, previously held by Northern legend and Jamison family friend Joel Whymer. The game was part of the annual St. Clair County Community College Holiday Showcase, which Whymer’s late father, Jim, played a crucial role in starting.
And all 47 points were absolutely necessary, as they came during a 60-57 win.
“It’s amazing,” Jamison said. “The Whymer family, they’re awesome, top to bottom. I love them all. Mr. Whymer passing away (in September of 2020) was difficult for all of us. To do it like that in a close game that we won, and in that atmosphere at SC4, it was awesome.”
As Jamison nears the midpoint of his junior season, he’s on pace to break more records at Northern and further cement his status as one of the program’s all-time greats. He’s averaging 30.7 points per game in leading the Huskies to a 4-3 start, which puts him on pace to break Whymer’s single-season points record of 623. Through Tuesday night’s win against Utica, Jamison has scored 834 career points, putting him on pace to surpass Whymer’s career total of 1,193, set in 2003.
Collecting records isn’t Jamison’s focus, however.
“I’ve watched his highlights, and he was ridiculous,” Jamison said of Whymer. “I haven’t really thought about it like, ‘Oh, I gotta get this number.’ My goal is to go out and do what it takes to win. Obviously, everyone wants to hold a record, but I’m not going to be out there taking extra shots in garbage time. If it’s going to happen, I want it to happen naturally, because that’s what Joel was doing. He wasn’t chasing points, he was chasing wins.”
Jamison was a varsity starter as a freshman, but he was surrounded by a veteran core that allowed him to ease into his role with the team.
“More than the basketball aspect, those guys were just awesome,” he said. “Every freshman on varsity is going to have ups and downs, and after games, those guys were just awesome to me. It was kind of like a big brother thing. They still text me and ask me how the games are going. And from the basketball aspect of it, I always had guys to lean on.”
In each of the past two seasons, Jamison’s role has grown. The 6-foot-5 guard became the team’s dominant ball-handler as a sophomore, and he’s proven he can do much more than score. He averaged 11.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game a year ago, and he’s once again pulling down nearly 10 rebounds per game this season.
“The mindset is always to be the best basketball player that I can be,” Jamison said. “I don’t think about, ‘Well, my role is this.’ I was just kind of working to be the best basketball player that I can be -- getting shots up, lifting. I’ve been fortunate that I have a lot of good players around me.”
His ability and production have caught the eyes of college scouts, and both Grand Valley State University and Saginaw Valley State University have offered him scholarships.
“It’s been a dream of mine to play college basketball my entire life,” Jamison said. “I’ve been very grateful for all the coaches that have recruited me. It means a lot to me. But I still have a long way to go.”
As Jamison climbs through the Northern record books, he’ll also put himself ahead of his uncles, Matt and Scott, who are among the program’s top all-time scorers. His father, Brian, has been the Northern coach for more than 20 years, and played on the 1990-91 Northern team that advanced to the Class A Quarterfinals – one of two teams in program history to do so.
“I’ve been in this program since, I believe, 1987, and I know so many of the guys that have come through, and (Tyler’s) in that room,” Brian Jamison said. “There have been so many good players here, so many accomplished people. He fits that mold of a great player and a great kid, and that means a lot. It’s been great to see him come through.”
Tyler said making his mark on the program he grew up with has been a dream come true.
“Ever since I’ve been I don’t know how old, I’ve been sitting on the bench, dribbling around and getting everyone waters,” he said. “I remember thinking, ‘I can’t wait until I’m out there. I can’t wait until I’m in the blue and gold.’ It’s something that I really wanted to do, and it’s been great to be able to play with my friends. A lot of the guys on the team, they live in our neighborhood.”
His senior season could include playing with someone who grew up even closer – his younger brother Alex, who is in the eighth grade.
“I think it would be fun,” Tyler said. “I love Alex, and he’s a really good player. I think if I get the opportunity to play with him next year, we’ll make the most of it.”
While Brian Jamison stressed that Alex would have to earn the opportunity to play varsity as a freshman, he is on a path very similar to that of his older brother. Earlier this season, Alex set the Fort Gratiot Middle School record for points in a game at 53, edging his older brother by one. But Tyler is quick to point out one important difference in those games.
“But my team won, and his lost,” Tyler said. “I still say that I have the important record because of that.”
Paul 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) Port Huron Northern’s Tyler Jamison (32) makes a move toward the basket against Troy Athens on Dec. 30. (Middle) Jamison pulls up for a jumper over a pair of defenders. (Below) The Northern junior dunks for two of his 47 points. (Photos by John Bowns.)
Foster Loyer’s four-season career at Clarkston from 2014-15 through 2017-18 certainly must be considered among the most accomplished in state history as he led the Wolves to back-to-back Class A championships in 2017 and 2018 and is listed in the record book 25 times.
Among Loyer’s most notable entries were 2,325 career points (12th most), 272 career 3-pointers (tied for ninth), records of 119 consecutive free throws and 634 career free throws, a .921 free-throw percentage as a junior (tied for fourth) and .900 career percentage (second), 589 career assists (sixth), 278 career steals (15th) and 102 games played (tied for sixth).
Loyer went on to play at Michigan State and then Davidson.
See below for more recent record book entries for boys basketball.
Four Onaway standouts were added for single-season and/or career records. Jager Mix, who graduated in 2022, was added for 92 steals last season and 225 over his four-season career. Kevin Pearson, a 2021 grad, was added for 81 steals as a senior and 247 over his career. Joe Sigsby, a 2016 grad, was added for 127 steals, and Jadin Mix was added for 124 in 2021-22. Their totals rank ninth and tied for 10th, respectively, on that all-time list. Jager Mix also was added for 967 career rebounds, and Onaway as a team was added for tying the record for most points in a quarter with 49 during the first quarter of a win over Fife Lake Forest Area on Feb. 3, 2022. Jager Mix is playing at Alpena Community College, and Jadin Mix is a senior this school year.
Uchenna Amene was added for 11 steals in a March 7, 2022, game against West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy and for 97 steals total over 25 games. He was a sophomore at Southfield Christian that season and now is a senior at Detroit Catholic Central.
Owen Franklin graduated from Oscoda in 2021 as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and nearly 44 percent of those 1,477 points came on 3-pointers. Franklin made the state career 3-pointers list with 216 over four seasons. He’s playing baseball at Northwood.
Traverse City Christian sophomore Reece Broderick became one of the state’s most accomplished long-distance shooters in just his second year of high school this past winter, drilling 104 3-pointers – good for third-most for one season all-time – over 23 games. He connected on 42 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
A pair of Rudyard four-year varsity standouts entered the record book after their graduations in 2022. Tate Besteman made the career rebounds list with 762 over 89 games, and EJ Suggitt made the career 3-pointers list with 215 over the same 89 contests. Besteman played this past season for Mid Michigan College, and Suggitt is playing baseball at Spring Arbor.
Success from 3-point range played a significant role in Mesick finishing 21-1 in 2021-22, as the team made 195 of its 578 attempts – with game highs of 15 twice in wins over Baldwin and Pentwater.
Then-senior Tristan McFolley earned the first listing under single-game rebounds since 2013 with 30 in Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy’s game with Hope of Detroit Academy on Dec. 8, 2022.
Tawas found its groove from long range Jan. 10 against Oscoda, drilling 22 3-pointers in an 86-31 win. The total tied for fifth-most in one game.
Although Norway felt just short, 40-37, in its District loss to Crystal Falls Forest Park on March 8, Alex Ortman kept the Knights close scoring 20 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to make the single-quarter scoring list. He’s now a senior.
Kobe Clark has listings in two MHSAA record books, with three for boys basketball joining those he earned for football during his Schoolcraft career. He was added in hoops for 531 career assists and 290 career steals over 94 games from 2016-17 through 2019-20, and also for 82 steals as a senior. Tyler DeGroote also was added to the record book, for scoring 20 points during the first quarter against Delton Kellogg during Schoolcraft’s Jan. 11, 2022, victory. Clark began at Saginaw Valley State for football and now plays basketball and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and DeGroote is continuing at Rockhurst (Mo.).
Past Detroit Cooley star Larry Fogle has added a seventh record book listing a half-century later. Fogle grabbed 33 rebounds on Jan. 18, 1972, during a win over Detroit Mackenzie. He went on to play at Louisiana and Canisius, and then briefly with the New York Knicks.
Trevon Gunter scored 42 points in Kalamazoo Central’s 84-56 win over Richland Gull Lake on Jan. 17, 2020, including 31 during the third quarter – second-most and just one shy of the record for points during one period. A senior that season, Gunter plays currently at Grand Valley State.
Mark Wittbrodt held the record for consecutive free throws at 70 until 2008, and that entry in the record book has been joined by several others from the Bay City Western star. He was added for his 192 3-pointers, 436 free throws, .842 free-throw percentage and 266 career steals over three seasons from 1991-93, as well as for six single-season accomplishments. He went on to play at Michigan Tech.
Ellsworth’s Jacob Jenuwine tied for 12th on the single-game 3-pointers list when he connected on 11 as part of scoring 39 points total in his team’s Feb. 14 win over Alanson. Jenuwine graduated this spring.
Bellevue senior Dawson Wing capped his three-season varsity career last winter with three entries in the record. He was added for 12 blocked shots in a 2021-22 game against Colon, 107 for the season last winter and 203 blocks over his career. Teammate Caleb Betz, a senior this fall, was added for 12 steals in a game against Athens.
Logan Mansfield capped his Morenci career in a big way last winter. The senior drilled 90 3-pointers over 24 games to earn his school’s first individual record book entry in boys hoops since the 1987-88 season, when John Craig had 132 blocked shots that would have been the second-most recorded at that time. They currently rank 13th.
New Haven earned a pair of record book entries during its March 10 win over Memphis. The Rockets bested their previous single-quarter school record with 41 points during the opening period, and they also made the statewide single-game 3-pointers list with 16.
Whitehall’s Camden Thompson, a junior this fall, earned his first record book entry last winter – and the first for his school in boys basketball. He grabbed 303 rebounds over 21 games.
Grand Rapids Wellspring Prep junior Zeekeal Jackson earned his school's first boys basketball record book entry this past season as well. He made the single-season steals list with 106, over 22 games, and just missed the single-game list with a high of 10.
Jonesville’s Brady Wright was among his team’s leading scorers during his three varsity seasons ending this past winter, but he also was a major contributor defensively. He made the records with a season-high 101 steals over 25 games as a senior, and made the career list with 232 steals over 61 games.
Sophomore Christopher McLavish Jr. made a memorable impact last season with a pair of record book entries. He made the single-quarter points list with 20 in a Feb. 21 game against Flint Powers Catholic, but even more memorable were his 97 3-pointers over 25 games for the season – tying him for 11th all-time on that list.
PHOTO Foster Loyer directs Clarkston's offense during its 2018 Class A Semifinal.