MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - Fresh off of the Parade of Champions for the Mount Vernon boys basketball team , some of the squad’s best and brightest have made it official that they will continue their storied careers next year at the Division I collegiate level.
Two Mount Vernon High School seniors - and starters on this year’s New York State Class AA Championship team - have signed their letters of intent for full athletic scholarships next season.
Gregory Calixte signed on to play in the frontcourt for George Mason University in Virginia and Noah Morgan will take his talents to Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey next season.
The 6-foot, 5-inch Morgan became a 1,000-point scorer for the Knights, while serving as an active member of the varsity squad for four years after leading the Junior Knights as a middle schooler.
A 6-foot, 9-inch 230-pound power forward, Calixte averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds per game while leading the Knights to the state title and AA Section 1 Championship. He was also named as a finalist for the title of Mr. Basketball New York.
"We're thrilled to welcome Greg to our program," George Mason head coach Dave Paulsen said in a statement announcing Calixte’s recruitment. "He recently put the finishing touches on an outstanding senior year and was a pivotal part of Mount Vernon's run to the state title. He has great size, athleticism and a nose for the ball. He will help us immensely up front on both the offensive and defensive ends."
Head Coach Bob Cimmino called the NLI signings the “ultimate goal” of every Mount Vernon athlete who puts on the school’s maroon and gold colors.
“This is the ultimate goal of every Mount Vernon basketball player, to win a scholarship and to win states,” he said. “If the only thing we did was to strive for wins, we wouldn’t be fulfilling the true intent of what a student-athlete is, which is to be a good citizen and an exceptional student. The work in the classroom has to equal the work on the court. These young men play hard and are great friends. They’ve culminated their high school years by making their parents very happy.”
“What can you say? Eleven state championships, no other school has done that,” Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow said at the recent Parade of Champions. “Just think about that. Mount Vernon is 4-square-miles, 65,000 people and can put together teams like this up against the biggest in New York City and the rest of the state.”