Before he left Sunday for Australia to play professionally, former Hillhouse standout Mike Moore worked out with the current Academics and even provided some advice for the 16-4 club.
Moore won back-to-back state championships his final two seasons at Hillhouse (2005-06 and 2006-07). The Register’s State Player of the Year in 2006-07, Moore went on to play at both Fordham and Hofstra.
“This is part of something a lot of people don’t know about,” Hillhouse coach Renard Sutton said. “No. 1, this is a fraternity and No. 2, it’s automatic that the alumni have to come back. A lot of them have done it at one time or another.”
Former stars Kwamaine McCarter, De’Arie Allick, Chazz McCarter, Tywon Samuels and Keith Cothran have all been by this year, according to Sutton. A number of those players have won state titles with Hillhouse.
Will Hillhouse add to its state record of CIAC championships this year? The Academics won No. 22 last year.
Hillhouse’s next game will be Saturday in the SCC tournament quarterfinals. As usual, it’s championship titles or bust.
“I think we are ready and I think they understand what it takes,” Sutton said. “They are ready to make a strong push as far as they can go.”
Seniors Raiquan Clark and Shane Christie could take a page out of the Moore chronicles. Both Moore and Kwamaine McCarter helped carry that 2006-07 squad in the postseason to a second straight title.
“It’s not a far-fetched comparison,” said Sutton, an assistant on those title teams under Kermit Carolina. “We would have to rebound, defend the ball as well we have been defending it and we have to hit open shots. Of course, Raiquan and Shane are our go-to guys, but we need to have an offensive presence off the bench.”