News  > Boys Varsity > McAdam Tops in Rochester



McAdam honored as player of the year

Johnson, Marchand named top coaches

James Johnson
Staff writer

(March 24, 2006) The one time this season that a bit of flash appeared in Corey McAdam's game, it was an accident.

McAdam noticed that Cory Magee was in a good position near the basket during a Fairport game and made a successful behind-the-back pass. Afterward, McAdam explained to a younger player how a less risky, two-handed pass was the better way to go.


"He was posted up and I did it from the foul line," McAdam, a senior point guard, said. "That's about as flashy as it gets with me.

HEATHER CHARLES staff photographer

Senior guard Corey McAdam's mastery of fundamentals made his teammates better and his consistency helped Fairport win its first Section V boys title in 31 years.

"I think people realized that I could get things done, that I'll get it there. Usually, the most effective way is the most fundamental way."

Steady, productive play was one reason McAdam was the popular choice for the All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year among Section V coaches, who vote annually to put together the Super 15.

"I don't remember anyone in recent years who made everyone on their team better like Corey did this year," Fairport coach Scott Fitch said. "When we played at Blue Cross Arena (for sectionals) I think he won a lot of people over.

"He sets people up. If we needed a wide-open 3-pointer he would do something to make that happen. If Cory (Magee) needed a dunk to get going, (McAdam) would drive and give him an opening for a layup."

McAdam also asserted himself as a scorer at the right times, and averaged 18 points with 8 assists and 8 rebounds. Fairport (22-2) won the Section V Class AAA championship, its first boys title in 31 years.

Both Red Raiders' losses were to state tournament runner-up and 2005 Federation champion Niagara Falls, once in the regular season and again in the regional playoffs.

The Finney Falcons did not lose in postseason. They were sectional champions for the first time and won the state Class D title under Joe Marchand, AGR co-coach of the year.

Marchand shares coach of the year award with Jim Johnson, whose Greece Athena team won the Section V Class AA title and with help from schoolmates gave almost all of us a lesson in chemistry.

The images from this season that will burn brightest for most in this area will be Athena players, fans and coaches' exuberant reaction to team manager Jason McElwain's greatest moment on a basketball court.

People around the world watched video of McElwain or "J-Mac", a high-functioning autistic student at Athena, score 20 points in four basketball minutes of the Trojans' regular-season finale.

It was a sight that brought some to tears and inspired others. Athena players seemed to leap higher into the air after each of McElwain's six that's right, six 3-pointers.

Students rushed out of the bleachers to carry McElwain off the court, something that usually happens only at an NCAA final or Super Bowl.

"Before the game, I thought this will be great," Johnson said. "He will be uniform on Senior Night, and his parents will be there. I was touched just to see the students put up the pictures of his face (masks on a stick).

"That's when I sat down (with tears in my eyes). The players would get the rebound and pass the ball back out to him. That was not directed by me. That was the beautiful thing about it. You couldn't fake what the kids on the bench were doing."

The Super 15 also has players who put on a show or two.

Rush-Henrietta senior Calvin Betts joins East's Jerry Hunter and McQuaid's Tom Sheehey as the only players picked for the AGR first team four times. Palmyra-Macedon's Anthony Hall, Magee and Betts are repeat selections from the 2005 team.

Sodus forward Greg Logins and Marshall forward Reid Houston join the short list of players whose fathers were picked for the AGR first team.

Section V coaches felt that McAdam had the best season among our Super 15 and acknowledged the feats of Marchand's and Johnson's teams.

"I voted for Joe Marchand," said Fitch, a strong candidate for the award himself for finally ending Fairport's long drought. "They had a special year and played above their class basically all year. I don't know how many coaches would have given J-Mac the opportunity. J-Mac made the most of it. That was icing on the cake.

"When Athena played us at our tournament, they weren't having a great year. They played a great game against us and it was like a turning point. I think it helped with their chemistry.

"Their class for sectionals was a little deeper from top to bottom, so they had to put together more good games to win."

McAdam put together enough good games to draw the attention of not only area Division III colleges, but Division II and I schools outside of the state. He plans to study psychology in college, and that before anything else appears to be the key for what level the traditional point guard moves to next.

"Any level is good, anywhere I go I'll be pushed very hard," McAdam said.

"I'm looking forward to it, but I know I won't have coaches like Fitch or (assistant Doug) Cunningham. I'll definitely look back on high school basketball with a lot of good memories."