Credit: Richard Hamm with AP Photo
By Dylan Wittenberg
Yante Maten, easily Bloomfield Hills High School’s most notable alum, is on a path to the National Basketball Association (NBA). University of Georgia’s power forward is considered one of the most underrated players in the entire country.
Rated as 90th best player in ESPN’s preseason player rankings, Maten has made a formidable case for SEC Player of Year. The other players in the running for that award? Try Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox. Maten is averaging 19.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 1.6 APG and has virtually been Georgia’s entire team. Besides his outstanding 2017 statistics, Maten has improved each year he’s been with the Bulldogs, going from 5.0 PPG his freshman year to 16.5 PPG his sophomore and finally 19.2 PPG in his junior year.
Maten has also proven to be a big time player in his team’s biggest games. No scout or pundit can argue that Maten can show up against the best competition. Take his 30 points against Kansas in November and his 22 points against in Lexington against Kentucky in January. In games against ranked opponents this year, Maten is averaging 20.8 PPG and 5.6 RPG. He’s scored 30 points or more three times this season and has five double doubles. The man is a beast.
Maten, who is on one of the final watchlists for the Karl Malone Forward of the Year award, leaves behind a large legacy in Bloomfield Hills. His 19 PPG and 7 BPG helped lead the Blackhawks to the 2014 State Finals against Muskegon, where his team fell short to current Grizzlies’ forward Deyonta Davis. Maten’s Bloomfield team defeated the consistently powerful Clarkston Wolves three times his senior year, along with Warren Mott, who was led by current Michigan State foward Kenny Goins.
Yante Maten will always be remembered as the best basketball player in Bloomfield Hills history. His talent and notoriety continues to grow as he nears the end of his junior year, and the forward could possibly join the NBA as soon as this spring. Should he return for his senior year, he could be a first round NBA Draft selection in 2018. Either way, whatever NBA Maten ends up on will be getting a gifted, skillful, and humble young man that will do what it takes to win and succeed.