Novi two-sport star Maddox picks hoops, Oakland

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Traveon Maddox has played multiple sports since he was 5, and, frankly, he could’ve kept it up in college, too.

Some schools were interested in him playing both basketball and football, and one, Division II Ferris State, even offered for both.

But after multiple long talks with his father, Maddox decided it was time to pick one.

On Sunday, the Novi senior-to-be picked basketball, and committed to Oakland’s 2018 class.

“It was a real, real, real long-thought-out (process),” Maddox said over the phone Monday, while waiting for football practice to start. “It was hard to make a decision, but I’ve never just played one sport.

“Me and my dad decided, if I play just one sport, how much better I would be as a player.”

Maddox, who turned 17 on Sunday, the day he announced his college decision, drew lots of interest in both sports.

In basketball, he was offered by Oakland, Ferris and Central Michigan, and also was recruited by Nebraska, Akron, Cleveland State, Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne and Tennesee-Martin.

In football, in which he plays receiver and cornerback, he was offered by Syracuse, Ferris, Ball State and Kent State, and had significant interest from schools in the Big Ten, including Michigan State, and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

What sold him on Oakland hoops, of course, was Greg Kampe’s up-tempo offense. Oh, and the Kay Felder factor keeps paying off.

“What drew my eyes to Oakland was two years ago, when Kay Felder was playing,” Maddox said. “One of my former teammates, Kameron Hankerson committed to Wisconsin-Green Bay, and we watched the Green Bay game vs. Oakland.

“I liked how Oakland played, how they run the offense. It’s mostly a fast-break team.”

Felder starred as a junior at Oakland, finishing first in the nation in assists and fourth in scoring, despite being a diminutive point guard. He left school early to enter the NBA Draft, and now is playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and is a millionaire.

At 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, Maddox is a versatile player who couldn’t even name his position when asked by a reporter. He has point-guard qualities in scoring, and big qualities in rebounding. At Oakland, he’s likely to be slotted as a shooting guard, taking Martez Walker’s spot after his eligibility expires.

As a junior at Novi, he averaged 20 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

Maddox started getting recruited heavily by Oakland in June, specifically Kampe and new Oakland assistant Tony Jones. He really opened their eyes when he scored 40 in a summer-league game in June.

“They (Kampe and Jones) get players in the NBA,” said Maddox, who, after officially committing Sunday, celebrated his birthday with family, friends and his girlfriend.

Maddox is Oakland’s first commitment for 2018, but it already has a commitment for 2019 in Knoxville, Tenn., point guard C.J. Gettelfinger.