Groton basketball fans will have the opportunity to watch one of its players take his game to the collegiate level next winter with senior James Lucey committing to play basketball at Hartwick College in recent weeks.
Lucey said he was recruited by SUNY Brockport, Russell Sage College, SUNY Geneseo and Alfred University, but Hartwick always seemed like the right fit basketball- and education-wise.
“It was one of the first places that reached out to me for basketball,” Lucey said. “They showed that they wanted me from the start, and they did a lot to show that they wanted me there. When I went on the visit, they were my first college visit. I really thought that they had the nicest campus and all their programs seemed really cool, and I liked that it wasn’t too far away from my house, so if I needed to get home I could.”
“All the next visits after I would compare it to Hartwick, and I always thought Hartwick was a little bit above those places during my visit,” he said. “I pretty much had them in my head the whole time, but I really just wanted to keep my options open.”
Hartwick is a private college located in Oneonta, NY. Their athletic teams compete in the Empire 8 Conference at the Division III level. Lucey said what he most impressed with the college was its athletic facilities as well as the men’s team’s coaching staff.
“Their weight room is far ahead of everyone else’s,” he said. “I feel like if I can be in there and use that facility I’ll definitely advance my game a lot. I really liked the coach and the assistant coach. They are very nice and they always showed that they wanted me to be in their program. They were always keeping up with me to see how I was doing like every week at least. They were helpful if I had any questions.”
Lucey was an integral part of the success of the Groton’s boys basketball team, which finished with a record of 8–5, this season and was a top performer among male players in the state as well. According to MaxPreps.com, the 6’6” forward ranked 16th in rebounds per game (10.1) and 19th in blocks per game (1.7). In the 12 games that he played in this season, Lucey averaged 12.8 points and 2.7 assists per game.
“He really fits in with what they want to do,” Groton head coach Ken Updike said of Lucey. “He’s more of a facilitator … he’s got a nice-looking jumpshot and he’s got great range, which transitions into the college, the next-level game. He’s really an initiator – he sees a lot of things on the floor and he can handle the ball and pass the ball well.”
Lucey said he is still undecided as to what to study yet – possibly something related to business – but he said he is looking forward to developing camaraderie and chemistry with his future teammates.