Detroit — Carrington McCaskill is one of the top five players in the state and a probable Mr. Basketball candidate.
On Monday afternoon, McCaskill told The Detroit News he is staying put his senior year at Detroit Renaissance. He also said he will only play for Vito Jordan, that he will boycott the season if a new coach is put in place.
Jordan was fired by Verynda Stroughter, who took over as Renaissance principal last month.
In a statement released by PSL district spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson last week, it stated that "during her (Stroughter) review of the boys varsity basketball program, she determined, in her discretion, to make a change in the coaching staff to reach the next level of excellence.”
Stroughter offered the job to River Rouge head coach Mark White — who guided Renaissance to the Class B state championships in 2004 and 2006 — and White first accepted the job and then turned it down.
White is no longer the coach at River Rouge, according to River Rouge principal Charles Davis.
“No, he’s not the coach," Davis told The Detroit News. "That’s a year-by-year thing and I think the job is posted. Right now he’s not the coach, and I don’t know who will be the coach.”
Said River Rouge Superintendent Derrick Coleman: “The position has been posted as required by the board policy to be done annually. At this point we have not determined who will coach the team for the upcoming season.”
Rvier Rouge senior point guard Braylin Toney said the players had a meeting with Coleman, River Rouge football coach Corey Parker and school board member Billy Campbell on Monday to discuss the news of White’s departure. They plan to interview candidates later this week. River Rouge assistants Derrick Jackson and Todd Burgan will handle open gyms.
“(White) is not the head coach,” Toney said, when asked if White remained the head coach. “After he took the job at Renaissance he tried to deny the job there and come back to Rouge, but I guess our superintendent and our board didn’t want him back around the kids and felt it was best to get rid of him.”
White guided River Rouge to a 47-4 record and consecutive Class B state semifinal appearances the last two years, losing to eventual state champion Benton Harbor this past winter.
Jordan was head coach the last five years at Renaissance, which reached the PSL title game in 2015 and 2016, then finished 15-7 last season with the top two players in the PSL returning in McCaskill and 6-foot-5 senior guard-forward Chandler Turner, making Renaissance The Detroit News' preseason No. 1 team in the state.
Turner said last Friday he plans on staying at Renaissance and McCaskill said the same Monday.
“I think we’re most likely going to stay,” said McCaskill, who is a Florida Atlantic commit. “I enjoy all my friends and everything like that. Hopefully, Vito will still get his job back, the odds are looking good and I’ve been hearing things and I’m praying to God. If not, I’d rather just work out the whole season, just protest and say I won’t play.
“I wouldn’t want to be coached by another coach. I’d support the team and cheer them on at the game, but I wouldn’t want to deal with it (another coach), just get in the gym every day and work on my game.”
Jordan has developed relationships with Turner and McCaskill since their junior high days, helping them gain valuable exposure through summer trips to camps, including eight this past summer, including Michigan State, Ohio State, Buffalo and Cleveland State.
Jordan has multiple former players competing at the college level, including Justin Turner and A.J. Jackson off the PSL runner-up teams, Turner earning MAC Freshman of the Year honors at Bowling Green and Jackson playing left tackle for Iowa.
Renaissance will be competing in the Horatio Williams Foundation Tip-Off Classic Dec. 1 against Flint Beecher.