May 12, 2012

MCI dropping post-graduate basketball

Maine Central Institute's nationally known program produced 10 NBA players and numerous collegians.

By TRAVIS LAZARCZYK Morning Sentinel

PITTSFIELD - The post-graduate men's basketball team at Maine Central Institute was once one of the top prep programs in the nation. Dozens of players went from the Pittsfield school to Division I college basketball, and some even went on to successful NBA careers.

Next winter, the program will be a memory.

MCI's Board of Trustees voted this week to discontinue the team, effective July 1.

"The post-graduate basketball program at MCI has a storied and celebrated history," MCI Athletic Director Earl Anderson said. "This decision came after many years of discussion, analysis and consideration by both the school's administration and the trustees. Emotionally it was a hard decision for many, including myself, but in the end the PG basketball program no longer fit into the vision for MCI's future."

The move caught Coach Dave Campbell by surprise.

"I had no idea this was going to happen," said Campbell, who took over the Huskies in 2006. "They talked about it before I came. A lot of it is probably financial. I have to live with it. They did what they felt was best for the school."

A total of 135 MCI players went on to play Division I college basketball, and 10 players, including Sam Cassell, Cutino Mobley, Brad Miller, Caron Butler and DerMarr Johnson, made it to the NBA.

According to MCI's website, room, board and tuition for the 2012-13 school year is $40,850. Several post-graduate basketball players received financial aid or scholarships.

"Finances was really a secondary role in this decision," said Jennifer Beane, MCI's director of alumni and communications. "The program no longer enhances the mission of the school."

MCI's program saw its heyday under Coach Max Good from the late 1980s through the '90s. In 10 years at MCI, Good's teams went 275-30, including three undefeated seasons. They won five New England Prep School Athletic Conference titles and had a 79-game winning streak.

Good said he was shocked to hear the news.

"Obviously, it's very upsetting," Good said. "(Former player) Andre Williams just called me. I went to the Clippers game the other night and talked to Caron Butler. He couldn't believe it. It's not like MCI is some fly by night school."


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