While the Maine-Endwell basketball teams will have to wait until Thursday to play their state playoff games, that gives me a chance to talk about a former Spartan.
With a chance to impress D1 scouts, and boost his skill set, this M-E grad chose a different playing path than most after high school.
For many high school student-athletes, college is the next step after graduation.
For others, they choose a different route, a grad year.
A chance to further themselves athletically and academically with hopes of boosting their appeal to higher-level colleges.
That was the path that Jack McFadden chose after graduating from Maine-Endwell in 2021, and it’s paid off so far.
SPIRE Institute Post Grad Guard Jack McFadden says, “I got my 3 point shot a lot better. I’ve just been in the gym on the shooting machine, so my 3 point shot has gotten a lot better. I’ve expanded my game from not only being a slasher, to more of a playmaker, a shot creator, and I can make my teammates better too, as well.”
While he’s been able to further his game at SPIRE, he can credit a lot of his basketball foundation to his days at M-E.
SPIRE Institute Post Grad Guard Jack McFadden says, “Playing as an 8th grader, all the way up to my senior year helped me a lot. Just like maturing and becoming a better basketball player. If it was like, Coach Ocker, with all his knowledge about basketball, teaching me. I actually came into SPIRE with having a lot more knowledge about basketball than some of the other kids. So, that’s definitely helped a lot.”
McFadden says he chose SPIRE for many reasons, including the coaching staff, the facilities, the academics, and of course, the team itself.
SPIRE Institute Post Grad Guard Jack McFadden says, “We’ve got a great team. This is probably the best, the most fun I’ve had with a group my whole life. We work hard. We push each other. But, we push each other in the right way. We’re not throwing cheap shots at each other. We’re pushing each other to get better. And when practice ends, it’s over. We become best friends again.”
Jack arrived at the Ohio campus in late August and was able to get right to work on his game.
To this point, the team has had a successful season, were ranked nationally, and even had a signature win.
SPIRE Institute Post Grad Guard Jack McFadden says, “We actually went to IMG in Florida. They were a top-ranked team in the nation, and we smacked up on them. We beat them by like 15. That was a really fun moment for us. There was a lot of coaches there, so a lot of us gained a lot in the recruitment area too.”
After all, that’s why Jack and his teammates are at SPIRE, to get recognized by college coaches. So far, McFadden has had many Division I schools reach out and he’s weighing his options for the fall.
With being able to improve his basketball skills, get further exposure to D1 schools, and create lasting bonds with teammates, Jack stands by his decision to play a year at SPIRE.
SPIRE Institute Post Grad Guard Jack McFadden says, “It’s been a lot of fun, like I said, with the coaches, they’ve been great. With the team, they’ve helped me become a better player, a more mature player. I’ve gotten stronger as I’ve been here too. So, yeah, it’s been great. I definitely think I made the right decision.”
If you’ve heard the name ‘SPIRE’ in the basketball world, it’s most likely due to NBA Rookie of the Year and 3rd overall pick, LaMelo Ball.
Jack and his team are currently competing in the National Prep Championship Tournament in Connecticut.