BOYS BASKETBALL: Clarkston's Foster Loyer is a rare breed for prep athlete | North Oakland Sports

BOYS BASKETBALL: Clarkston’s Foster Loyer is a rare breed for prep athlete

| March 24, 2018 | Comments (0)




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EAST LANSING — Dan Fife just knew he had something special in Foster Loyer four years ago.

But just how special remained to be seen.

Loyer, now a senior guard at Michigan prep basketball powerhouse Clarkston, finished up his high school career in grand fashion, leading the Wolves to their second straight MHSAA Class A state championship.

“I knew when he came in as a freshman that he would be good,” smiled Dan Fife, Clarkston’s head basketball coach since 1982-83. “Even as a ninth grader, I could see he had something special.

“The kid has been as good as any (in Michigan),” continued Fife. “As a freshman, you didn’t know how good he was going to be. I told people back then, ‘you’re going to be amazed at what he can do.’”

Loyer, who was 5-foot-11 as a scrawny freshman, is an exaggerated 6-foot-1 nowadays. But on the basketball court, he’s something else and plays much bigger than his 155-pound frame suggests.

Anyone that has seen the Michigan State four-star recruit — somehow he is ranked that low — and follows high school sports in Michigan now understands just how special the talented point guard truly is, on and off the court.

“Foster is just a great kid in general,” said Fife, a former All-State player in the 1960s at Clarkston who later was an assistant basketball coach at the University of Michigan and even played briefly in Major League Baseball with the Minnesota Twins organization. “Even the teachers love him. He doesn’t stand out walking the hallways during school. You would never know that he has all the press clippings that he’s had. He gets along with just about everybody in the school and the teachers all say he is a model student.”

In an era where athletes, regardless of off-the-field antics, are idolized, Loyer, the 2018 Michigan Mr. Basketball winner, is a breath of fresh air both as a person and as a player. He is always deferring to what his team has accomplished and not his own awards.

And on the playing surface he is an amazing player for a high school athlete. A pure joy to watch.

He is also the school’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing 1998 Mr. Basketball and current MSU assistant coach Dane Fife, Coach Dan Fife and 1967 Clarkston alum, and 1992 Mr. Basketball runner-up and former University of Michigan starter Dugan Fife along the way this season.

In dozens of categories at Clarkston, Loyer is found in the top five on the school’s list for scoring, shooting, free-throw shooting, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio, steals…and so much more.

He is the first “unanimous” four-time Associated Press Class A All-State First Team selection in over three decades — that’s unanimous — in the state of Michigan. His accomplishments include leading his Wolves to four-straight Oakland Activities Association Red Division league titles, four straight district championships and a 97-6 overall record.

His team was a mainstay in the Class A top 10 during his stellar four-year career and Clarkston captured three regional championships along the way. The only season that Loyer and the Wolves didn’t win a regional was his sophomore year when Clarkston lost in regional semifinals to then unbeaten Macomb Dakota in double overtime.

As a junior, Loyer led Clarkston to its first state championship in boys basketball, scoring a combined 61 points over the state semifinals and finals.

He backed it up with a super-human-type effort at the 2018 MHSAA Class A Final Four at Michigan State’s Breslin Center, his future home. He scored 42 points in the semifinals win against Warren DeLaSalle (74-49) and 40 points in a 81-38 victory over No. 7 Holland West Ottawa in the state finals.

Loyer averaged close to 30 points and seven assists a game. He is quite savvy and has a basketball IQ through the roof.

“He put on a clinic,” said Dan Fife of Loyer’s Final Four performances. “I can’t remember anyone doing that. I’ve been coming to this since the 60s.”

As a floor general, shooter, passer, and consummate team player who backs down against nobody, Loyer departs the Michigan prep scene as one of the best point guards the state has ever produced. His skillset will likely transform into collegiate success at Michigan State if he gains strength and adapts to even a higher level of game speed.

With 7.2 billion souls on earth, Loyer likely won’t play in the NBA one day, as few do, but that will not change his legacy on the high school hardcourt as one of Michigan’s all-time greats.

As a 40-plus-year veteran sportswriter said over the weekend, “Foster ranks up there with the best of them” in terms of Michigan’s top all-time point guards.

His performances, his numbers, his attitude and his leadership clearly backs that up.

He surely won’t be forgotten.

(Daniel Stickradt is a 25-year veteran sportswriter in Michigan and publisher of,  as well as a multi-media freelance journalist for multiple outlets. He can be reached via email at Follow him on Twitter @LocalSportsFans and on multiple other social media platforms.)

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