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Michigan signee Isaiah Livers wins Mr. Basketball

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One of the future pieces of the Wolverines is bringing home some hardware.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

John Beilein has built his program on the foundation of bringing in top talent from basketball-rich states such as Indiana, Ohio and various others over the years.

Yet, in his ten years leading the Michigan basketball team, some could argue Beilein has had little success beating out Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for top in-state talent on a consistent basis.

On Monday, however, Beilein earned a slight recruiting victory over his rival from East Lansing when U-M signee Isaiah Livers was named the state’s 2017 Mr. Basketball.

Livers, a senior at Kalamazoo Central High School, became the 37th recipient of the Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award, given annually to the state’s top senior by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan, in conjunction with the Detroit Free Press.

“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime player, and it’s big for our school and big for our team and big for the city of Kalamazoo that he was able to win this award,” Kalamazoo Central coach Ramsey Nichols told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s huge. (It) shows that there’s definitely talent on this side of the state, just like there is talent on the east side of the state, as well.”

Livers, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound power forward and four-star prospect, averaged 17.5 points, 14 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game this season and led Kalamazoo Central to a regional championship.

Livers beat out Michigan State-bound Xavier Tillman of Grand Rapids Christian for the award.

While Tillman finished with more first-place votes (363) than Livers (333), Livers earned more overall voting points (2,811) than the future Spartan (2,739).

The voting is done on a 5-3-1 basis and only BCAM members are permitted to vote.

What makes things even more interesting is the two are set to face off Tuesday in a Class A quarterfinal at Lansing Eastern High School. The winner advances to the state semifinals Thursday at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

Grand Rapids Christian beat Kalamazoo Central, 53-51 on March 2.

Livers, who signed his letter of intent on Nov. 11, is a four-star prospect and ranked as the 134th senior nationally, according to 247 sports. He joins shooting guard Jordan Poole (four-star) and point guard Eli Brooks (three-star) as part of the Wolverines’ 39th ranked recruiting class.

Livers is the program’s first Michigan Mr. Basketball since Manny Harris in 2007.

Other notable players include Robert “Tractor” Traylor (1995), Chris Webber (1991), Terry Mills (1986) and Glenn Rice (1985).