Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
Denby High is in the East division with Detroit Public School League girls’ basketball powerhouses King and Pershing. But, while her Lady Tars may face an uphill climb, junior guard Chelsea Harlan is not the kind of player to back down from a challenge.
“She’s a tremendous student first of all and she’s also a great athlete,’’ Denby coach Kyohn Burton said of Harlan, the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week.
“She works hard all the way around in the classroom and in practice. She’s the first to practice and the last to leave. It shows on the court what she’s about. She’s been a leader ever since she stepped in here. She never lets up. Even with three fouls, she plays under control but she still has that fire in her eyes.”
Harlan, a 5-6 junior guard, is a transfer from Lansing Eastern where she averaged double figures in scoring and rebounding last season. She was largely responsible for the Lady Tars getting off to a 5-1 record prior to the start of league play.
“I want to be a leader and help take my team to the championship,’’ said Harlan, who had 28 points, 14 rebounds and nine steals in a 66-30 victory against Henry Ford to cap a streak of all-around performances that included 25 points, 11 rebounds and seven steals against CMA and 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals against Michigan Collegiate.
“I like to drive and go to the basketball, but I’ve got to work on my jump shot because that’s my weakness,’’ she said. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make my school proud.”
Burton has known Harlan since she was a freshman at Southeastern before she moved with family to Lansing.
“King and Pershing are the teams to beat, but when you talk about elite players in this league, Chelsea is definitely in the top five,.’’ Burton said. “She’s still very raw but she can play with the best.”
Harlan is already drawing interest from several colleges and couldn’t be happier to be back in Detroit playing for a familiar coach.
“Coach Burton is a great motivator,’’ Harlan said. “He has this team playing together and we’re excited about trying to get better. We’re all ready to work hard and see how far we can go.”
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys and girls athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and sponsored for the third year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators