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This shooter is on target

McAdam's outside touch fuels fast start for Fairport

James Johnson
Staff writer

(December 23, 2005) FAIRPORT Watching Corey and Ryan McAdam play a game of basketball, it's obvious that this is far from the first meeting in a long-running series between the two.

They guard each other like brothers. There is some bumping, since it's hard to shake someone who has seen every move you've tried during matchups in the family's driveway.

If anyone sees a difference in the game of Fairport senior guard Corey McAdam, it's his older brother Ryan, a sophomore guard/forward at Nazareth College.

First, Ryan watched Corey's confidence grow during the summer league play for local high school players.

"He did well in our (men's) summer league, too," said Ryan McAdam, a 2004 Fairport graduate. "People wouldn't take him seriously, then he hit a few shots and made a few scrappy steals.

"They could see that he can play."

It's becoming clear in gymnasiums inside and outside of Monroe County, too.

Fairport is off to a 3-1 start, with 6-foot-8 senior Cory Magee and McAdam, who rank 1-2 in scoring at 15.5 and 14.8 points per game. McAdam also is averaging a team-high 7 assists, with 7 rebounds and 4 steals per game.

Class AA state champion Niagara Falls edged the Red Raiders 52-50, despite 21 points from McAdam.

"Corey played extremely well against the Falls," Magee said. "He controlled the tempo and hit some big pull-up jumpers.

"If you see him in warm-ups, he's not going to throw the ball through the basket. If you play with him, you respect him. If you're a big man or a guard, he'll get you the ball, sometimes to a fault, because he passes up shots."

Fairport coach Scott Fitch stopped a recent practice to wonder aloud, "Why are we turning that shot down?" No need for Fitch to mention names; McAdam understands who the question is directed at.

The Red Raiders needed new leaders to go along with 6-4 senior Kelly Condello and Magee since nine players graduated from last season's 17-3 team that reached the Section V Class AAA semifinals.

McAdam, who is 6-2 and 160 pounds, was nudged into the role. He is reminded often of his new standing.

Fitch leaves invitations on index cards for Magee to shoot the ball more.

"We had a lot more scorers," McAdam said. "There is a lot more responsibility for me this year. The ball is in my hands more often.

"It's a role I've never been in before. You have to have confidence. If I'm standing at the 3-point line, thinking about whether or not I'm going to make it, I'm not going to make it."

Discomfort in one of McAdam's knees might have led him to become a more confident shooter.

McAdam believed he was dealing with tendinitis when he went to see a physician in June. Instead, he had a small tear in a meniscus.

"It allowed me to work on my shooting form and make my legs stronger while doing the rehab," McAdam said.

The work showed up while McAdam was at play during summer-league games.

Calvin Betts, an All-Greater Rochester guard/forward at rival Rush-Henrietta, said that McAdam's improvement offensively and defensively has been "tremendous." He sees a player who is comfortable with his method.

"Instead of trying to cross you over, he'll take a basic move and use his body," Betts said. "If you are still right there with him, he can stop and use ball fakes. He's a very smart player.

"We only were in one tournament together, but the one we did play together, I loved it."

McAdam's improvement adds another player to watch when Rush-Henrietta and Fairport meet Jan. 11 and again on Feb. 8. Tickets for those annual league games sell out.

"It'll probably be full gyms, standing room only," McAdam said. "You have the R-H kids trying to make you feel stupid, Fairport fans trying to make you feel good.

"If you do something wrong, you're going to hear about it. If you do something right, you'll hear about it, too. You have to shout because otherwise, no one is going to be able to hear you."

Section V Tournament games sometimes have that same atmosphere. Since Christmas is only two days away, a small smile breaks across McAdam's face when asked about Fairport's chances to end a 31-year sectional title drought.

"There's a feeling that we have a better opportunity with this team," McAdam said. "I definitely don't want to graduate with a season where, for the amount of work we've put in, we didn't accomplish what we wanted to."

Corey McAdam will probably put in more work with the help of his brother Ryan, who played on two sectional finalists. Those spirited one-on-one games always include a tough defender.

"It's always his rules, so I don't win," Corey McAdam said. "He always pushes me when we play. The competition makes me want to be better than him." 


staff photographer

Corey McAdam's new role at Fairport means he's got to be confident in his shot. "If I'm standing at the 3-point line, thinking about whether or not I'm going to make it, I'm not going to make it."


Corey McAdam

School/year: Fairport senior.

Sport/position: Basketball guard.

Height/weight: 6 feet 2, 160 pounds.

Uniform number: 12, by coincidence. "Coach Fitch's number (at Fairport). My eighth-grade year it was between 12 and some other number."

McAdam's moments: Stepped into a higher-profile role with the Red Raiders (3-1), who have 6-8 senior Corey Magee near the basket and a threat on the perimeter in McAdam . . . Averaging 15 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals through 4 games . . . Scored 21 points during a one-point loss to Niagara Falls, the Class AA state champion . . . Averaged nine points and three rebounds as a junior.

Coach speak: "I've never had a guard like him, I don't know if we've ever had," Fairport coach Scott Fitch said. "There's not many players in Section V who make other players better. He does. McAdam stepping up his game gives us a chance to do something special."