HAMPDEN, Maine — Maine’s Mr. Basketball is crossing the border to continue his basketball career at the collegiate level.
But he’s not headed south.
Christian McCue, who led Hampden Academy to this year’s Eastern Maine Class A championship, will attend McGill University in Montreal this fall.
“When I went up there I really liked the campus and I liked the coaches,” said McCue, who also was accepted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “And it really feels like a different world up there with the different language and big city.”
McCue will be the third brother from his family to play college basketball, following Jesse, of Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Daniel, who last winter helped MIT advance to the NCAA Division III Final Four.
“I went until like seventh grade thinking I was going to play in the NBA,” said McCue, a 6-foot-2-inch guard. “After that I decided I could settle for playing in college.”
Christian and Daniel McCue will be reunited in a basketball sense at McGill next season. Daniel, who will graduate from MIT later this month, has been offered a position on the McGill coaching staff but also has playing eligibility left so if he is accepted into that university’s graduate school he may join Christian on the Redmen’s active roster.
“I’m not sure if he’s going to play or not, but we’re going to get an apartment together,” said Christian. “Daniel’s my best friend.”
Christian McCue had a breakout senior season at Hampden Academy last winter as he expanded his game from one of being primarily a long-range shooter to a combination guard who was both a leading scorer and ball distributor for coach Russ Bartlett’s Broncos.
McCue was named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North co-player of the year and Eastern A tournament most valuable player, selected to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine first team and chosen as the state’s Mr. Basketball after leading Hampden to its first regional title since 2006.
He’s currently playing on a Hermon-based Blackbear Basketball Club AAU team and frequently works out with Hampden teammate Zach Gilpin. McCue also plans to play in a men’s league with older brother Jesse in preparation for his transition to the college game.
“My main goal for the summer is to get stronger to be prepared for the more physical play,” McCue said.
McCue equates the level of play at McGill — an upper-tier Canadian program — to a lower-level NCAA Division I or high-level Division II program in the United States.
“It’s an extremely high level,” he said, noting that McGill’s schedule for the 2012-13 season includes exhibition games against U.S. Division I programs such as Nevada-Las Vegas and Iona.
Last year the Redmen played the likes of Illinois State, Central Florida, Akron, Albany, New Hampshire and Niagara during their preseason.
McCue will have to adjust to the international rules used in the Canadian college ranks. At approximately 22 feet, the 3-point arc is deeper than it is in the U.S. high school or college level. A 24-second shot clock similar to the NBA is used in Canada, and the free-throw lane is wider than in the United States.
And inbounding passes from the frontcourt to the backcourt are illegal.
“I’ll probably make a few turnovers because of that one,” said McCue. “I’ll just have to get used to the differences.”
McCue sees an opportunity for personal growth within the McGill roster, as the starting point guard from last year’s team has transferred and two other American recruits didn’t qualify academically to get into the school.
“They’re pretty light in guards right now and they have a lot of big guys,” said McCue. “I’ll just see whatever role needs to be filled and whatever opportunity comes about.”
Glover nominated for All-American Bowl
Ryan Glover, a senior linebacker from Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, has been nominated to participate in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl football game to be played Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The game, now in its 13th year, is the premier high school football all-star game in the country, and has served as the preeminent launching pad for future college and NFL stars such as Adrian Peterson, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Andrew Luck and Marcus Lattimore, all of whom made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans.
Glover, a two-way starter at right guard and middle linebacker, helped Mountain Valley go undefeated en route to the 2010 Class B state championship and return to the Western Maine Class B championship game in 2011.
Also a standout wrestler for the Falcons, Glover is one of 400 senior high school football players from around the nation nominated for the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Those selected to the final rosters for the game will be announced in late fall.
Among other Mainers nominated for the game in recent years were Joe Seccareccia of Bangor and Nick Stevens and Shawn Smith of Hampden Academy.