Brandon Calhoon / To be inducted in 2018

Brandon Calhoon


To be inducted in 2018

A relentless offensive force on the hardcourt and later a standout performer on the stage and in the studio, he stands to this day as the all-time BHS Boys scoring leader, totaling 1,339 points and a career average of 20 points per game. A two-time All-State and All-Area awardee, he put up 29 points and pulled down 10 rebounds per game as a senior, setting standards for scoring that have never been matched at BHS.

What were your three most memorable games you played and why?

1- The Buzzer Beater- It was my senior year and we were playing Standish-Sterling. A really tough team with a great point guard named Eric Dufort. We had hung onto a lead most of the game but with 15 seconds left Standish had the ball, down by 1. I remember the ball going up, bouncing around the rim then coming down into a furious scramble for the rebound. Somehow a Standish player ended up with the ball scoring what seemed to be the game winning layup. With 7 seconds remaining we called timeout to calm our nerves and get the play from coach. It was a length of the court play we all knew well and if one person doesn’t do there job it doesn’t work. I got the ball under the far basket and took off down the right sideline as fast as I could. I remember the defender running with me step for step feeling like at any second I was going to step out of bounds. Thankfully I just kept pushing the ball up the court and when I hit the baseline I just put it up. I can remember watching the ball floating in the air, a Larry Bird high arcing 16 ft baseline jump shot that soared over the backboard. A shooter knows as soon as the ball leaves his hands if its going in or not…and I knew it. The buzzer sounded as the ball swished through the net and the next thing I remember I was being mobbed at center court by all my teammates. No better feeling in the world, especially in front of the greatest hometown fans on the planet.

2- 40 and The Win - My junior year we had some pretty high expectations. We had a gritty tough team and our arch rivals, the Gladwin Flying G’s, were no different. We barely won our first meeting earlier that year with them at our place so we knew going into their gym it was going to be a dog fight. During warm-ups before the game they we’re playing my favorite song “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC and I was feeling it. Then once we tipped off the fire was burning high. I just couldn’t miss. This is the first and only game I can remember Coach changing up the offense to let me create. “Orange” we called it. Which was basically a clear out at the top of the key and if a double team came I hit the open man. I can remember just being in the flow of the game. Every pass, every screen, every rebound, every shot seemed effortless. We controlled the game from start to finish and when the buzzer sounded I had 40 points. Its funny because it’s one of the greatest games I ever played but my detailed recollection of is fuzzy. I was so in the moment or “in the zone” that the game just happened.

3- Petoskey Free Throws - We had just beaten a very good Oscoda team to win the District Finals. Our next opponent was a red hot Petoskey team that had some really good shooters. We battled all game with them exchanging leads back and forth like a heavy weight boxing match. Petoskey was up one with time winding down and I had the ball in my hands. I remember being pressured hard at the top left of the key and getting caught up in a double team. I could hear the Petoskey crowd roaring cause they thought I dragged my pivot foot trying to pass the ball off to Kurt Broka. Great no-call by the refs! I got the pass off and quickly back in my hands for last second drive right to the baseline for a 15 foot pull-up jumper going out of bounds. With 2 seconds remaining on the clock I was fouled on the shot. So there I was standing on the free throw line with the game on the line. A moment I rehearsed in the backyard as a kid a thousand times. The crowd went dead silent and I went into my routine. 1, 2, 3 dribbles and a light back spin of the ball in my hands. Swish, tie game. Second shot…1, 2, 3 dribbles and a light back spin of the ball in the my hands…ball goes up…BOOM. Crowd goes wild. Beavers win!

What were the best Beaverton basketball games you've witnessed?

I never seen a better Beaverton basketball game than the 3 overtime win against Clare. Beavers were down in regulation, the first overtime and the second overtime. Only to comeback to tie on the back of Spencer Johnston every time. I mean the kid hit a running, hand in the face 30 foot buzzer beater 3 pointer to send it into the 3rd and final overtime. I’ve never seen a kid with a bigger will to win in my life. By the time the 3rd overtime started I think Clare had already packed their bags to go home. They were defeated mentally and physically. I mean they literally beat Beaverton 3 times in one game and Spencer wouldn’t let them. It was crazy. Beavers ended up winning the game in the 3rd overtime.

Other than yourself, who would be in your top 5 all-time Beavers basketball team?

Jeff Johnston
Doyle Durkee
James Ruhle
Adam Mickler
Spencer Johnston

What did playing for Coach Roy mean for you?

Meant I was part of something special. A tradition I grew up watching as a kid. Of course there were plenty of bumps and bruises playing for Coach but he got the best out of you. I knew he yelled and I knew he was tough but I was the type of player that needed that. I look back on those days with great pride.

What Beaver player did you look up to growing up?

Jeff Johnston was the man. He was everything a great player should be. The ultimate floor general, team captain and winner. He had natural grace and presence on the basketball court that even most of the Beaverton greats would admit was special.

Who was a teammate of yours that made you better and why?

Mike Bassage. Mike and I had battled since we were kids on who was tougher. Mike knew me well and when I wasn’t playing good or when games got heated he’d pull me aside and kick my butt. It was a huge loss not having him my senior year due to a football injury. I really believe some of those close games we lost Mike wouldn’t have let happen.

Who were some tough opposing players that you played against?

Eric Dufort
Billy Shellenbarger
Mike Walker

What does it mean for you to be inducted into the Beavers HOF?

As cliche as it sounds, it’s a dream come true. Beaverton is my hometown, born and raised. I grew up watching the greats. I got to see Jeff Christian run a 4 minute 2 mile. I got to watch the 1984 Beaverton Basketball Semi-Finals run to Crisler Area. So for me its better than being on a TV show, its better than any music award. Its the ultimate honor to recognized as one of the best to ever represent your hometown. I will cherish it for the rest of my life. And when I’m dead and gone my name will still be right there in the record books, on that plaque on the wall. It’s an amazing feeling!

Who are some people in your life that helped you to be the player you were and the person you are today?

My parents Hugh and Terry Calhoon sacrificed everything. My dad worked shift work at Dow sometimes 16 hour days just so I could have the opportunity to go to a summer basketball camp, have a basketball hoop in the backyard, have the coolest sneakers and a roof over my head. My mom too. She worked days as a nurse at the Gladwin Hospital and then spent every other second of her time dedicated to our family. My parents won’t get a plaque or their names on the wall but they are Hall of Famers in my book.

What is your earliest memory of Beaver basketball?

Scott Govitz and the Bleacher Creatures, Crazy Coach Roy Johnston stomping around on the sidelines, the smell of half-time popcorn and all the amazing Beaverton Beaver fans.

What does Beaverton Basketball mean to you?

Beaverton basketball is the epitome of tradition and excellence. For over 40 years Coach Roy Johnston and Beaverton Basketball team have done it better than anyone in the state of Michigan. And for 3 short amazing years from 1990 to 1992 I was an integral part of that winning tradition. I'm very honored and proud of that.

Lightning Round | In one or two words, define the following:

Coach Roy - Tradition, Stickler
Govi - The VOICE, Bleacher Creatures
Beaverton Basketball - Tradition, Pride
Doyle Durkee - The Shooter
Your Jr. Team - Gritty, Tough
Your Sr. Team - Good group, missing Bassage
Mike Bassage - Tough, spark plug
Beaverton - Home

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Brandon Calhoon Brag Board

“I remember watching Brandon playing for Beaverton when I was in elementary school. He was the first Beaver that I can remember wanting to beat. When I shot every day in the driveway, I pretended to score on Brandon, and then it was James Ruhle.”

– Derek Fillmore, Meridian High School

“I am ecstatic that Brandon is going into the Beaverton Hall of Fame. In my opinion, there is no singular athlete from Gladwin County more deserving. What Brandon meant to his team and his town during his tenure playing varsity basketball for Coach Johnston and the Beavers, was as impactful as any athlete has ever been. What Brandon did, especially during his senior year, will never be duplicated and his legacy is stamped forever because of those individual and team accomplishments.

Having played with and against Brandon, dating back to the mid 1980’s, I have witnessed, first hand, his dominance on the basketball court. But if you were to ask me what stands out the most about his basketball career at Beaverton, it wouldn’t be one singular game, it would be his entire senior campaign. What he did during the 1991-1992 basketball season is something I have never personally seen since and in my opinion will never be seen again. What he accomplished is extremely hard to believe and almost seems super-human. Brandon finished the regular season (20 games) averaging 28.9 points per game, which won him the Bay City Times scoring championship. As Brandon entered the district, which was the most loaded and talented district I have ever seen Gladwin or Beaverton compete in, the odds to win it seemed difficult for any team. The path to that championship was riddled with teams like Standish, Gladwin and Oscoda, who all had all-state/future collegiate players and were 17, 18 and 19 win teams. When you added Beaverton to that mix, it was the toughest district I’ve seen in northern Michigan in 25 years. What Brandon did over the course of that three week, was as good as it gets and nothing short of amazing. He proceeded to score 30+ plus in all three games, put his team on his back and essentially became “unguardable” as they took on and beat a very talented Oscoda team for the district championship. Having scored 30+ in all three games obviously continued to drive that 28.9 ppg season average above 29 by the time the district was over. As they entered a difficult regional with Petoskey and Kingsford, he was up against two more teams with all-state standouts and significant success during the regular season. As Brandon and the Beavers did away with Petoskey, Brandon, once again, topped 30 points in that game and moved them on to take on a tough Kingsford team. As they lost a heart breaking game by a point to Kingsford, Brandon fought through more double teaming and scored another 30+ in that game. Having averaged 28.9 through 20 games, then scoring 30+ in five tournament games, Brandon’s season average drove itself well over 29 points per game. For the season, he scored somewhere around 725-750 points. That average and total is absolutely unbelievable in high school basketball and those records will undoubtedly hold up as long as we are on this earth. But it goes beyond that…he didn’t do it on a bad team. He did it on a team that won 20+ games and was a layup from the quarterfinals. He was about team success first and was able to do things we have never seen in our towns in order to get his team, and ultimately his town, to a successful place most never see.

Brandon’s skill set was what drove all of his success. He combined incredible athleticism with outstanding fundamentals. He could dunk on you one possession and then make a strong mid-range jump shot on the next. He could knock down a three one possession and then run the point on the next and initiate the offense. When you combine that with his size, he became a freak of nature and an unstoppable force during his career. I am fortunate to have spent so much time with him competing against one another in an incredible county rivalry, going to camps in the summer together, being 3-on-3 teammates and now, life long best friends. Looking back, I am so proud of what he did for his team and his town, and now, I am proud to see him continue to be incredibly humble about his accomplishments. His humility alone is truly something young players should model themselves after. Congrats on your induction, my friend. You deserve this great honor so much!!

– Billy Shellenbarger

I was only two years younger than Brandon but he was the guy I looked up to when it came to Beaverton sports. He was our version of Benny Rodriguez (Sandlot). He was the kid who hit long home runs in Little League and the first and only guy at the time who could dunk. I’ll never forget standing in our packed gym as Coon stole the ball at half court, dribbled down the right side of the floor and dunked on Gladwin as the crowd erupted. I have great memories of getting done with my JV games and watching Brandon score at will with his size, speed and that patented high release. He was such a match-up nightmare for other teams because as a 6’4 point guard he could beat you from anywhere on the floor.

I am proud to call Coon one of my best friends and as someone who has loved Beaverton Basketball my whole life, I appreciate what he means to our long tradition.

In regards to his music career, I want to make sure everyone knows that I taught him how to snap his fingers when we were little kids at a Calhoun Park softball tournament! LOL!

Congrats Coon! Woody loves ya!”

– Shad Woodruff

“Playing basketball with Brandon was a lot of fun. Brandon was such a prolific scorer. It didn’t matter if he was wide open or had someone right in his face, he was scoring the ball. Not too many players can say they averaged 30 points for an entire season, Brandon can. I always joke that Brandon and I would combine for 36 points a night. The punch line is, he scored 30 and I had 6. Brandon was not only a great basketball player, but he is also a great musician and most importantly a great friend. He is well deserving of this honor. Congratulations Brandon!

– Michael E. Bassage

I had the privilege to grow up with Brandon and played basketball with him since 6th grade. He was the best player I’ve ever played with or against. His size, sweet stroke, & ball-handling skills made him a nightmare match-up for whomever had to guard him. Our senior year he had one of the best statistical years in BHS history, capturing all-conference, all-region, & all-state awards. He also lead our team to the Jack Pine conference title that year, along with winning the Gladwin district championship.

Two memories that stick out:

1) Our junior year, Brandon lit up the Flying G’s with 40+ points in leading us to another victory over our cross-county rivals. Gladwin came out of the locker room to the song “Thunderstruck”, which happened to be one of Brandon’s favorites at the time. By the end of the game, the entire Gladwin team had been “thunderstruck” by Coon & his career best game!

2) Our senior year, we had great match-ups with Standish-Sterling. They beat us on their home court on a last second shot. When they came to our place, it was our turn. We were down 1 and Coach Roy Johnston drew up a play in the huddle. My job was basically to set a pick for Brandon & stay out of his way. I will never forget setting a good pick, watching Brandon move around that man to head across center court, and then KNOWING that he was going to nail the winning jumper, which of course he did! We went on to beat them again during the districts, this time in overtime.

Congrats to Brandon – you truly deserve it and I’m so proud of you!”

– “Night Train” Wayne Walts II

I was glad to hear about Brandon being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. He was always such a driven team player. He was so graceful and had such a sweet shot. It was like money in the bank when the ball was in his hands. But the best part about Coon is his way with the young kids that looked up to him, he always made time to give them attention even after the big games. Brandon is, and always will be a Beaverton guy, and he is proud of it. No matter where he is or what he is doing he always shows people respect and is such a class act. He’s not afraid to wrap his arms around any of his friends and flash that huge smile. Brandon, Beaverton is proud of your accomplishments and adding you to the Hall of Fame is our honor and I’m proud to share the wall with you.

Congratulations for this well deserved honor.”

– Dick Woodruff

“Congratulations Brandon on your entry into the Hall of Fame. I know that your heart was big for Beaverton when you were a player and that you continue to show love for your hometown through music. You’ve brought great pride to the community through your play and career. Great job!”

– Scott Govitz

“What I always admired about Brandon was the fact that he always had a great work ethic and always prided himself on being a role model for the younger kids who looked up to him. Coon comes from a family with a great athletic background and it’s no surprise that he accomplished the success he did. It was common to see Brandon with a ball in his hands, whether at the gym or dribbling down M-18 to and from his parents house.

I appreciate that Brandon has never forgotten where he comes from and consistently shows respect to Beaverton and the old timers that came before him. I’ve known Brandon his entire life and even though he is quite a bit younger than me, I consider him a good friend.

Congratulations Coon, welcome to the Beavers HOF, you deserve it!”

– Bob Woodruff

“Coaching against Brandon was a chore, he could shoot, pass, and defend. He was a great teammate and represented Beaverton High School with class! Above all else Brandon was a great young man. A real rockstar then and today!

– Bill Chilman

“On the court, Brandon was the perfect blend of size, skill, and athleticism. He was a pure scorer. Off the court, nobody worked harder. Brandon would regularly be seen running, dribbling his basketball down M-18 from his house two miles south of town to the gym. If he wasn’t running to town, he was relentless with drill work at home. The heat and humidity in July or the sub zero temps of winter never stopped him. He was out there. Working. Free throw after free throw, jumper after jumper, he prepared to win, and his record reflected that.

I’ll forever remember the battles with Billy Shellenbarger and the G’s in the Old Barn, fans packed to the rafters, five deep on the baselines. I’ll never forget “the dunk”, Da Boots, or those damn Flivers. He was a trendsetter, he was a Captain, he was a role model…he was a winner. He was one of us…and still is. When you think of Beaverton Basketball, it’s impossible not to think of Brandon Calhoon. Congratulations my friend, nobody deserves it more.

– Jason Brown

“The toughest assignment of my high school career – easily the best high school player I ever played against. Very appropriate that he enters the HOF! Congrats!

– Casey Heckathorn – Harrison Hornets ’94

“Congratulations! Brandon was the most talented Basketball player that I ever played against. We had a few Beavers v Comets battles.”

– Brett Haring – Coleman Comets ’93

Brandon Calhoun…aka Coon daddy…The Hizle…where do I start with this guy….there was no one more cool when I was growing up! We rode the same bus and I remember he would walk on with….Air Jordan warm up pants, AC/DC tee shirt, a little mullet, a basketball in one hand and an electric guitar that had a girl in a bikini on it in his other hand…..I mean come on! Obviously basketball has always been huge in Beaverton, but Brandon made it cool! He gave us a lot of exciting moments, but the dunk against Gladwin and the winning buzzer beater against Standish at home will always be etched in my memory! I’m not sure if the ol red barn had ever been louder! Then there are the scoring numbers… averaging just under 30 a game is impressive, but to do when everyone in the gym knew who was getting the ball… that’s really impressive! Coon had great teammates, but when we had to have a bucket, the other team knew who was taking the shot. When he brought the ball up and made a little move at the top of the key and pulled up for a soft jumper at the free throw line…you could not guard it. And all those district and regional wins…thanks for the memories Hizle! In the bigger picture, when I think of Brandon a rare mix of two words come to mind, Talented & Humble. His talent on the hardwood and his music on stage is an envy of many but his ability to spread his positive, humble vibe to everyone he is around might be his best talent. Congrats buddy on being inducted into the Beaverton Athletic HOF…It just got a lot more cool!

– Chris Goerge