Casey McCloskey’s the type of basketball player who relishes playing in an uptempo-style offense.
When she attended a Maine Maritime Academy women’s game earlier this winter, she was sold on the program almost immediately.
McCloskey, a senior at Penobscot Valley in Howland and one of the top scorers in Class C, will join coach Craig Dagan’s Mariners next winter.
“I like to run the floor and they seem to do that well, when I went go to watch them I felt like I could fit in well there,” said McCloskey.
McCloskey, who scored more than 1,000 points in three years at PVHS and one at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln —where she played as a freshman — wants to pursue biology and physical therapy.
McCloskey helped lead coach Joe Cyr’s Howlers into the Eastern Maine Class C semifinals as a sophomore.
“She’s a leader on the court and off, she’s a coach’s dream and opponent’s nightmare,” said Cyr, whose club earned a preliminary-round berth in Class C this winter.
McCloskey will join a young MMA squad which is fielding 12 freshmen and sophomores.
McCloskey, who also runs cross country and is a standout pitcher for the Howlers, also plans to play softball at Maine Maritime for coach Katrina Dagan, Craig Dagan’s wife.
“It’s a big family event it seems like down there,” McCloskey said.
The small-school type atmosphere in Castine was certainly to McCloskey’s liking.
“It’s just the girls [on the team], they just made it feel like home and the coaches and everything, it just seemed so homey to me,” she said.
One of McCloskey’s other deciding factors to attend MMA was the school’s location.
“I’ve always told my mom I wanted to be far enough away from home so she isn’t knocking on my doorstep but close enough to bring home my laundry,” she said.
McCloskey averaged more than 20 points per game for PVHS this season, but that’s not exactly her style of play.
“I’ve actually played point guard my whole career, I know I’ve had to score a lot but it’s a really uncomfortable role for me,” said McCloskey, who likes to think of herself as a player who looks to score on some occasions but create opportunities for others frequently.
“Yeah I like to look at myself for that, I like to think of myself that way,” she said. “It’s uncomfortable for me to be selfish.”
The 5-foot-8 McCloskey isn’t quite sure what to expect yet.
“I really don’t even notice it to be honest, I don’t know what the college level is going to be like quite yet,” she said. “I just play my game and hope for the best, that’s all you can do.”
Even though the Howlers struggled for victories over the last two seasons, McCloskey certainly had some great experiences.
“My junior year we were 2-16 but I had a blast every game, I played my heart out and so did every other girl on my team,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of great experiences, gotten the chance to grow as a player.”