Once teammates, Joshua Chery, left, and Corey David, shown in 2018, have now both been selected to be part of the Central Maine Community College men’s basketball all-decade team. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Central Maine Community College basketball coach Dave Gonyea said it was a privilege to coach the handful of athletes who were recently named to the school’s men’s basketball all-decade team.

Despite being fouled by NHTI’s Jordon Richard, CMCC’s Jalen Lincoln drives to the basket and scores during a 2013 game at Central Maine Communicy College in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“One, they exhibited a lot of class, a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, a lot of commitment to the college — and especially very loyal to the college and their teammates,” Gonyea said. “This list represents those players who led their teams to success. They were the leaders and contributors on and off the court who kept CM in the race year after year. 

“Some earned athletic scholarships and some earned academic scholarships, but what they all have in common is a loyalty and respect for their team and school.”

An awards ceremony will be held this spring or summer, pending COVID-19 restrictions and Maine CDC guidelines.

The longtime hoop coach, who also is CMCC’s athletic director, had a lot to say about this group of selectees:

• Nick Hinkley of Wiscassett was a captain for the Mustangs and, Gonyea said, “was the teammate every player wanted to play beside. His aggressive defense and ability to make teammates around him better was the hallmark of his game.”

• Curtis Miller was quite comfortable at the perimeter for the Mustangs.

CMCC’s Corey David, right, is fouled by NHTI’s Aubrey Stephens as he drives to the basket during a 2017 men’s basketball game in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“‘Need a 3? Call Curtis Miler,’” Gonyea said. “Deadly from the 3-point line and (had) a range others could only dream of. Curtis led the squad from the arc and was rewarded by earning the USCAA All-American Award.”

• Point guard Corey David of Florida wouldn’t allow adversity to keep him off the court.

“He has overcome serious injuries that would have caused the average player to quit,” Gonyea said. “His leadership skills have been developed and is well-respected by his teammates.”

• Point guard Samson Olayemi, a Manchester, England native who went on to play for John Brown University, was a skilled ball-handler and capable passer for CMCC. 

“Samson was named Yankee Conference runner-up player of the year, named USCAA All-American and earned a full athletic scholarship to John Brown University,” Gonyea said.

• Gonyea said guard Jalen Lincoln of Damariscotta was “consistent, hardworking, and a great teammate. Jalen employed a high basketball IQ and could master any skill he learned.”

• Kazre Cummings, a 6-foot-5 forward from Warwick, Rhode Island, was the Mustangs’ inside man, who quietly went about his business under the basket.

 “Nobody outworked Kazre,” Gonyea said with pride. “He was known as the gentle giant who owned the boards, matched up against the bigs, and most importantly, was a defensive presence inside.”

Kazre Cummings, shown in 2014, is one of 12 players selected to the Central Maine Community College men’s basketball all-decade team. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

• Guard Carrington Miller of Bingham enjoyed hanging around the rim thanks to his high-flying antics.

“His rebounding talent and ability to score inside made his game multifaceted. Carrington earned a USCAA All-American Award,” Gonyea said.

• Guard Tim Flanagan was a top-notch defender for the Mustangs.

“He was called upon to guard the opposition’s best player every game,” Gonyea said.

CMCC’s Pietro Badalassi goes up for a layup as NHTI’s Adam Presutti tries to block him during a November 2016 game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

• Australian Pietro Badalassi, a CMCC swingman who went on to play at the University of St. Francis, impressed Gonyea with his work ethic.

“Not only did he achieve a full athletic scholarship, he earned the USCAA All-American Award along the way,” Gonyea said.

• Gonyea described guard Rob Skinner of Connecticut as a player who could do it all and had great success directing the Mustangs’ offense.

“Rob was known for his quick hands on defense, and (he) turned games around with his defensive abilities and instincts,” Gonyea said.

• Forward Josh Chery’s passion and dedication made him one of the Mustangs’ workhorses.

“He improved every day expanding his game from a big man to a big guard,” Gonyea said.

• Gonyea boiled down Virginian Elijah Barbour’s game to this: “Elijah never met a shot he didn’t like. His ability to drain 3-point shots was second to none. He saved his best for the biggest games.”

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