Two Hawks sign with D1 schools for the 2024-25 season

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Portrait of Hawk basketball players Chansey Willis, Jr. and Damarion Bonds.

Two men's Hawks basketball players – Chansey Willis, Jr. and Damarion Bonds – recently received scholarships to transfer to Division 1 schools.

For the 2024-25 season, Willis, of Harper Woods, will play basketball for Western Michigan University. Bonds, of Pontiac, will play basketball for Central Michigan University.

“Chansey and Damarion will be rivals next year in the Mid-American Conference,” said HFC Assistant Coach Kirk Bradley.

The right fit

Coach Chris Shepard is proud of Willis and Bonds.

“Damarion and Chansey signing in the early period is a huge accomplishment for both of them,” said Shepard. “They have found the right fit for them and both are extremely talented. These are the seventh and eighth student athletes to sign with Division 1 schools in the last three years.”

Chansey Willis, Jr., former Mr. Basketball, 9th nationally in shooting offense

A 6-foot-2 point guard, Willis played football and basketball at Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School in Detroit. He was captain of the basketball team from his sophomore year through his senior year. On March 21, 2022, Willis was named Mr. Basketball, a prestigious award given to the state’s top seniors by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM), which he dedicated to his late sister Casey. He was the first person from his high school to be named Mr. Basketball.

Willis played basketball for Saginaw Valley State University, which he attended on an athletic scholarship for the 2022-23 season. For the 2023-24 season, he transferred to HFC on an athletic scholarship because he wanted to play for Shepard, who has been named the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year for four years.

“Coach Shep is a great coach. He went over my schoolwork with me and helped me get my GPA on track, him and Coach Bradley both. I’m looking forward to winning a championship at HFC,” said Willis.

Recently, Willis has been named the MCCAA Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice. He has a shooting average of 55%, is shooting 35% from 3-point range, and completing 76% of his free throws. He is ranked ninth in the nation in shooting offense.

Willis will graduate from HFC in May 2024, earning his associate degree in marketing. He plans to major in marketing at WMU next fall. His long-term goal is to play in the National Basketball Association.

“Western is the next step on my journey to one day play in the NBA,” said Willis. “I really would like to play for the Detroit Pistons.”

Related Content: Chansey Willis, Jr. dedicates Mr. Basketball award to his late sister

Damarion Bonds, sports management major

A 6-foot-6 point guard, Bonds is an alumnus of Mott High School in Waterford, where he played basketball and served as captain for his final two years. He attended Rochester University on an athletic scholarship for the 2022-23 season before transferring to HFC on an athletic scholarship for the 2023-24 season.

“It was a better opportunity and a better fit for me and for what I wanted to do with my future,” said Bonds. “I wanted to play for Coach Shep because he brings the best out of his players.”

Bonds, who is majoring in sports management at HFC, is looking forward to continuing his athletic career at CMU next fall.

“It’s the best opportunity for me and what I wanted to do,” said Bonds. “I want to play for Coach Tony Barbee because he’s coached a lot of good players at CMU.”

Like Willis, Bonds aspires to play basketball in the NBA one day.