After a solid basketball career at Old Town High School, Adam Richardson was almost prepared to move on from organized athletics as he pursued his academic future at Maine Maritime Academy.
“It was totally academic-based,” said Richardson of his decision to attend college in coastal Castine, where he is a power engineering technology major. “I didn’t even get recruited for basketball. I emailed the old coach and said I’d like to get a shot at playing, I was coming down there anyway.”
Four years later, Richardson is at the forefront of what may be a modest renaissance of the MMA men’s basketball program.
The 6-foot-4 center from Bradley already has been named North Atlantic Conference player of the week twice this season and leads the league in points per game (17.8) and field-goal percentage (.640).
Richardson’s leadership has helped the Mariners enter Saturday’s home game against the University of Maine at Presque Isle with a 6-7 record.
That already represents the most victories in a season for the program since MMA’s 10-14 finish in 2011.
The Mariners also are 3-2 in conference play, not bad for a team whose best record since 2011 for a full 18-game NAC schedule is 4-14.
“I think we’re more confident now,” said Richardson, the lone senior on the roster. “We’ve played a lot of close games and pulled some out finally, so I think no one’s afraid coming into these games now.”
Recruiting for basketball is different at Maine Maritime Academy than for most other NCAA Division III programs because the school’s academic offerings are concentrated on engineering, management, science and transportation, often with a nautical focus.
“We’re a unique school, but what we do get is guys who fit what we do,” second-year MMA head coach Dan McNeely said. “We’re different academically, we’re different culture-wise, but to be honest that’s why I took the job, because I like the uniqueness.”
Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...
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