Senior Adam Kleckner said he had “a few butterflies” when he came to Wenner Field House Wednesday, Feb. 11 for the matchup against Lexington.
It wasn’t the typical pre-game anxiety against a familiar rival. On Wednesday night, Kleckner was on the cusp of joining a rarified basketball fraternity: the 6’5″ Middlesex League all-star was just 12 points from reaching 1,000 points in his four-year high school career.
“It’s amazing that I was that close,” said the senior captain.
With a dozen points, Kleckner would join just a handful of Marauder boys to hit the century mark.
(Belmont’s 1,000 point club includes Steven Pollard (’86), 1,294 points; Mike Costello (’96), 1,264; Mark Mulvey (’93), 1.213; Timmie Barrows (’07), 1,126; Larry Norman (’88), 1,096 and Asa Palmer (’93), 1,055.)
It appeared Kleckner would get to the landmark early, scoring the game’s first hoop in the initial 15 seconds while grabbing a bucket full of rebounds. But when he reached 998 with three minutes to go in the first quarter, Kleckner went surprisingly cold; miscues on a few “bunnies”, having his shots blocked and then missing a pair of foul shots that would have set the mark.
The record would have to wait until midway through the second quarter as Kleckner stood at 999. A foul under the hoop put the senior on the line and the first shot, he buried the shot and entered Marauder history.
Congratulations from teammates and head coach Adam Pritchard, a commemorative ball was produced, and his parents and brothers came out onto the court for hugs, kisses and photographs to mark the occasion.
After the game, which Belmont won 64-49 to go 12-6 (and which Kleckner did not score after his milestone), Kleckner said achieving the mark was the result of “a lot of practices and training.”
“But I could not have made it without amazing teammates who helped me over the past four years,” said Kleckner.