McCormick Sisters Excited For Last Ride
BY DAVE SHEA
The "Last Dance" of the Michael Jordan the Chicago Bulls has earned rave reviews and high ratings on ESPN for the past three Sundays.
The sister combination of Paige and Madison McCormick, who combined on three-straight New York State Class D Girls Basketball Championships at Heuvelton Central School, have locked in plans for a "Last Ride" together at the Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester.
Paige called it the "Last Ride" on a Twitter post where she announced that she was transferring from the Division I University of Massachusetts to play her senior season with her sister Madison who will be a sophomore with the Division II Red Hawks.
Roberts Wesleyan plays in the East Coast Conference and along the NCAA Division II the school is also affiliated with the National Christian College Athletic Association.
The McCormick sisters are currently preparing for that ride during the COVID-19 Pandemic shooting and matching up in the well used goal in the driveway of their family home in the hamlet of Galilee.
"I am really excited. To play my final season with Madison is huge. Our first run together, at Heuvelton, turned out to be great and she has told me nothing but good things about Roberts Wesleyan. Coaches Jack Rosati and Kevin Clifford have done a lot of great things for me already," said Paige McCormick.
"They really care about their players. That is the difference between Division II and Division I which can sometimes be like a business."
The 5-11 McCormick enjoyed success in all three seasons at UMass and averaged 5.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a junior where she played in 31 games and started 20. She turned a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double against Southern Connecticut State and scored as season-high 18 points on 6-10 shooting with 4-7 accuracy from 3-point range against Brown.
She expects to play small and power forward for the Red Hawks who return a solid cast from last year's 15-13 team which includes her sister Madison who averaged 4.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as a freshman point guard.
"I am expecting to play at the three and four but I will play anywhere where I am needed. I am coming in with the mindset of bringing intensity into every minute of practice," says McCormick whose long range career goal is to become a Health Care Administrator.
"I have no plans of taking over or anything like that. I am only going to be there for my senior season."
A senior season which she says is going to be all about family. Her parents Charlie and Kari McCormick, who spent weekends criss-crossing the Northeast at times following their two daughters in 2019-20 season, can now concentrate on one team for the first twice since Paige's senior and Madison's sophomore season at Heuvelton Central.
"It is going to be really great to for our parents. Family is going to be a huge part of the season," she says.
Madison McCormick expects her sister make an immediate impact facing the challenge of moving inside.
"We play a lot of teams with Division I transfers and we play teams with six foot guards. So Paige is really going to help us a lot. Her heighth is really going to be important," says the 5-7 Madison McCormick who is majoring in Business Administration.
"She will do very well but she will face some bumps in the road. There is not much difference between Division II Division I. Her mentality will be a big plus for me. We share that toughness and it will be great to play together again."
Madison McCormick is looking to follow up on what she called a solid transition from the high school to the college game. Started 20 of the last 21 games and enjoyed season highs of 13 points against St. Thomas Aquinas, eight rebounds and five assists against Saint Leo's College and six steals against the District of Columbia.
"I am more muscular now and I played the one and instead of the two and a lot of teams press the whole game," she says.
"I think we should have a good season. We had some good juniors last season and I think our freshmen should do well."