Hoover has spent nearly 20 years reading microfilm and interviewing former professional basketball players, and has compiled a vast database of information about the history of basketball in Detroit.
A graduate of Grosse Pointe North High School, Michigan State University (B.A. ’91), and Wayne State University (M.A. ’97), Hoover is a 21-year teaching veteran of the Detroit Public Schools. He has taught mathematics, science, health, reading, and physical education at a variety of buildings, as well as summer and Saturday swimming lessons in the district. Currently Hoover teaches at the Marcus Garvey African-Centered Studies Academy.
Hoover has also served as a paid or volunteer coach for many interscholastic and intercollegiate teams, including the boys’ basketball at Detroit Barbour, Detroit East Catholic, and Detroit Kettering; girls’ basketball at Grosse Pointe North; and men’s basketball at Oakland Community College and Macomb Community College; as well as boys’ and girls’ swimming at Detroit Butzel.
Hoover currently volunteers for the Miller High School Sports Hall of Fame (Selection Committee), the Black Legends of Professional Basketball (Midwest Coordinator), Motor City Youth Initiative (Vice Chairman), Michigan Chronicle (writer), the Detroit Sports Zone, and the Horatio Williams Foundation.
Hoover is the father of three children.
Rivers’ hobby of researching began with an interest in the history of Detroit Miller High School, but expanded to include the history of basketball in Detroit. He has read decades worth of microfilm and has compiled a large collection of information and photos of former PSL alumni.
An accomplished athlete in his own right, as a 6-foot-6, 220-pound senior at Detroit Mackenzie, Rivers possessed an explosive 37” vertical leap which he used to average 20 points and 19 rebounds and earn a consensus first-team All-City basketball selection as a senior in 1971. Rivers was also city runner-up in the shot put to eventual Houston Oiler Art Stringer (Rivers’ personal best throw was 55 feet). One of Rivers’ best outings was a January 19, 1971, 25-point performance, during which he exploded for 22 fourth quarter points against Central’s 6-foot-5 highly-touted New York City-transfer Jimmy Hunt. Another stellar performance occurred on February 9, 1971, when Rivers racked up 31 points and 19 rebounds against Western’s 6-foot-8 Fred Simmons.
Rivers’ 1970-71 Stags’ team reached the PSL championship, but bowed to eventual Class A state runner-up Kettering which featured three future NBA players – Lindsay Hairston, Coneil Norman, and Eric Money.
Rivers followed his high school career by playing four years of basketball at Michigan State University. As a Spartan, Rivers teamed with a number of noteworthy individuals including eventual NBA players Lindsay Hairston, Greg Kelser, and the late Terry Furlow. Six other notables were current Detroit Martin Luther King High basketball coach Benny White; two-time Big Ten Scoring champ, Cleveland Cavalier draft choice, and PSL legend Mike Robinson; former Ferris State University men’s basketball coach Edgar Wilson; New Orleans Saints draft choice Tanya Webb; and Portland Trailblazer draft choice Gary Tropf.
Rivers earned two degrees from Michigan State University (B.A., ‘76 and M.A., ’93).
Hill has been researching the PSL for much of the past decade while working on his yet-to-be-released book Hardwood Legends: Stars of the Detroit Public School League. Along the way he’s had fantastic conversations with some of the PSL’s finest including Lindsay Hairston, Antoine Joubert, Greg Kelser, John Kline, Charlie North, Charlie Primas, Jalen Rose, Ralph Simpson, Ernie Wagner, and Perry Watson.
A graduate of St. Clair Shores Lakeview High School, Eastern Michigan University (B.S. 1989), and Wayne State University (B.S. 1999 and M.A.T. 2002), Hill is in his 13th year teaching in the Rochester Community Schools. Prior to education, Hill was an award-winning journalist at such papers as the Ann Arbor News, Fairbanks (AK) Daily News-Miner, The Oakland Press, and the Detroit Free Press.
Hill is married and the father of two children.