caption, page 9:

Letter of Intent
Cairo McCrory (lower middle) signed his National Letter of Intent to play basketball for UMass. Also in the photo, bottom row, left to right: grandmother Mary McCrory, Cairo McCrory, Foye Smith. Back: State Senator Douglas McCrory, aunt Gina McCrory and grandfather Bill Smith. Photo courtesy of Joel Tretheway/The Woodstock Academy.

caption, page 11:
Letters of Intent
Four members of the Woodstock Academy Gold prep basketball team, left to right: Joe Moon (Bryant University); Cairo McCrory (UMass); David Jones (Sacramento State) and Lawrence Foreman (Rider University) signed their National Letters of Intent. Photo by Joel Tretheway/The Woodstock Academy).

It’s one thing for the student-athlete to sign his name to a National Letter of Intent.
“Best moment on my life so far,” Woodstock Academy Gold prep player Cairo McCrory said after he put his name on the dotted line to attend and play for UMass early last week. “All these years of working hard finally paid off. It’s a big relief. It’s finally official. No more waiting to sign, the moment is finally here.”
It’s another thing entirely for the parents of that student-athlete.
Connecticut State Senator Douglas McCrory was beaming with pride for Cairo McCrory and three of his Centaur teammates was held.
David Jones signed his Letter of Intent to play for Sacramento State; Joe Moon made it official that he is headed to Bryant University and Lawrence Foreman signed on the dotted line for Rider University.
It was the end of a long journey for all four.
And, of course, the parents.
“This has been a long time coming,” Connecticut State Senator Doug McCrory said. “Ever since he was born, I, of course, wanted him to be like me and play basketball when he grew up.”
The elder McCrory had played basketball for the University of Hartford in his younger years and to see his hopes and dreams come for his son come to fruition was satisfying for him and his son.
To see him choose a college not all that far from his Hartford home also made his parents a little happier.
“I love my community. I don’t want to leave it that much. It’s only a 45-minute drive so my parents and family can come up and watch games,” Cairo McCrory said.
That wasn’t always the plan.
Cairo McCrory had hopes of going to a college in a little warmer climate in New England.
“When he was young, he was always saying that he wanted to go somewhere that was hot,” Douglas McCrory said. “I’ve been through all that. I wanted him to go to a place where he could enjoy himself, get a good education and play. I couldn’t ask for a better situation than him being just an hour away.”
There was a lure at UMass for the 6-foot, 5-inch guard.
Four former members of the Woodstock Academy Gold prep team, Tre Mitchell, Preston Santos, T.J. Weeks and Dibaji Walker, who transferred in from Cleveland State, all play for the Minutemen. Former Woodstock Academy prep coach Tony Bergeron is now an assistant coach at the school.
“I’m cool with the whole team. It’s like a brotherhood as you can see this year compared to last year so it’s a fun place to go,” McCrory said. “I love the style they play and that I will have the opportunity to come in and play right away.”
And receive a free education at the same time.
“This is a lottery ticket,” Doug McCrory said. “At the end of the day, he has a $200,000 opportunity here. It’s up to him to follow through and do what he’s supposed to do, do what we taught him all his life. Go up there, do the work academically and work his behind off on the court. I’m happy.”
So is Cairo’s mom, Foye Smith, who said Cairo is responsible for much of his own success.
“I’m over the moon,” Smith said. “There isn’t a kid I know that worked harder than him. He has been all over the country. Never missed a practice, never missed a game. If he was sick, he would go, he has been dedicated. This is just the beginning, another step, it’s not the end. I’m proud and excited for him. He did this. I was just the ride and the food.”
Woodstock Academy Gold prep coach Jacque Rivera said he has known Cairo McCrory since the ninth grade, coaching against him while Cairo McCrory played for the Masters School.
“I’ve got to know him as a person this year and I couldn’t be more blown away by his character. He is a quiet individual, who if you allow him, will stay to himself, but if you get to know him and he opens up to you, he’s probably one of the funniest people you will get to know. He is hilarious,” Rivera said.
Jones will be headed back home.
He is a native of Sacramento. “Very cool. Very exciting,” said the 6-7 Jones. “We’ve done a lot to get here; me, my Mom and the people around me.” Sacramento State went the extra mile in recruiting Jones. “They have a game plan for me, the entire four years laid out and I appreciate that."
Moon and Foreman verbally committed to their schools in October.
Moon, who hails from Detroit, was a runner up for Mr. Basketball in Michigan. He averaged 25-plus points and six assists per game in high school.
Moon said he went on an official visit to Bryant and the Bulldogs coaching staff and players made him feel at home.
Moon said Bryant had always been high on his list, but what he truly wanted was an opportunity to play at the next level so when it was offered, he accepted.
Foreman is an up-and-comer with room to grow.
The Kingston, Jamaica, native has played organized basketball for a little less than three years.
He was more into soccer and chess on the island until he was 15-years-old and began to grow. He spurted to 6-5 at that time and is now 6-9.
Foreman came to the U.S. and played for Windsor High School. It was at Windsor that Rider assistant coach Marlon Guild saw him.
Guild went to Windsor to recruit guard Corey McKeithan who has also committed to play for Rider. Guild followed Foreman to Woodstock Academy.
Foreman went on an official visit and told Baggett he was going to play for Rider during that visit.
“I just felt at home and coach Baggett and coach Guild treated me like family. I liked the environment. I will be reunited with my former point guard at Windsor and that was a plus, too,” Foreman said. “The coaches talked about how the professors work closely with the students and the players, even when the coaches weren’t around, talked highly of the program. It’s a dream come true. I come from Kingston, Jamaica, we don’t have much over there. Coming here, making it happen and going to college for free is a big deal.”
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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