Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON – There will be several familiar faces on the West Michigan Lake Hawks’ sideline this season.

Lake HawksThe American Basketball Association (ABA) affiliate Lake Hawks will be headed by General Manager Jeff Burris, a Muskegon native, while the head coaching duties will be handled by former Western Michigan Christian and Muskegon Community College basketball coach Ronald Jenkins.

The organization also announced this week that Muskegon Heights Councilwoman Patrice Johnson will fill the Vice President of Team Operations position.

“We know in this business that some will find opportunities to move on any day. It was by the grace of God that I prepared for this day by adding Mr. Burris and Coach Jenkins as assistants when forming this team,” said Lake Hawks CEO Harold Whaley. “I’m just excited to say with these two changes and the addition of Councilwoman Johnson, the Lake Hawks are already reaching new heights. I hope the surrounding communities see the commitment that the ABA and myself are making to Muskegon and all of West Michigan, because we are definitely here to stay.”

The organization has received a warm welcome by area leaders, including resolutions of support from the Muskegon County and the City of Muskegon boards of commissioners, while also garnering support from other elected officials, businesses, community leaders, individuals and clubs.

“At a time like this the Lake Hawks are a blessing from above for what they bring to this community in sports, entertainment, youth mentoring programs and education,” said Muskegon County Commissioner Charles Nash. “Our community definitely needs to rally behind them with support in any way possible.”

“We appreciate a community like Muskegon that is committed not only to the team but also the pay­it–forward programs the ABA brings to the community” said ABA President Joe Newman.

The Lake Hawks next home game, Saturday, Nov. 23, will be against the Coast II Coast All-Stars of Detroit.

The game will be held at Three Oaks Academy, 1212 Kingsley St., Muskegon (formerly Western Michigan Christian High School).

Tickets are $7 for adults, while student tickets (both high school and college) are $5 with a student ID.

More information about the Lake Hawks and their mission can be found at www.lakehawksbasketball.com.