New Hamptons Chris Gaston Wins IS8 MVP
The championship game of the Nike IS8 League was like a who’s who of the tri-state area’s most notable players. Juice was led by New York’s most known star in the class of 2009, Lance Stephenson, along with Darwin Ellis and Karron Johnson. The Playaz featured one of the hottest recruits in the country in Dominic Cheek, along with Brian Oliver (Georgia Tech), Tamir Jackson (Rice), Lance Brown (Fordham), and Karon Abraham.
But amongst all of those star’s it was Chris Gaston that was the best player on the floor. The New Hampton product finished with a game high 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots as he went head to head with Stephenson (22 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists) and led his team to a 96-81 victory to claim the prestigious seven-foot trophy.
And if Gaston got the MVP, then his New Hampton coach Pete Hutchins got runner-up, as Hutchins made it possible for Gaston to get back to New York to even play in the game.
After Gaston wasn’t able to get a ride back for the Playaz semi-finals victory over the Gauchos, Hutchins made sure that didn’t happen for the finals. The New Hampton coach woke up at 4:00 a.m., found someone to cover his dorm duty, and then made the six hour car trip to get Gaston to the game.
But it certainly proved to be worth it as Gaston dominated play and is so doing earned himself national media recognition.
Gaston was quick to praise Hutchins, the New Hampton School, and Fordham University, where he has already committed to attend next season.
“It’s going great,” Gaston told Adam Zagoria of his year at the New England Prep School. “I’m getting the work done, trying to lift, and build my game.”
The newfound star also conceded to Zagoria that although he now realizes that he would have been recruited at the highest levels had he held off on committing, he isn’t sorry that he pledged to Fordham.
“I probably could’ve gone Big East but I’d rather be in Fordham,” he said. “It’s a family atmosphere.”