Castine—“He’s obviously one of our greatest ambassadors for the program,” said Maine Maritime Academy men’s basketball head coach David Muchnick.
Muchnick was speaking of junior Zachary Radcliffe, the lone Maine representative among 158 student-athletes nominated for the National Association of Basketball Coaches Allstate Good Works Team.
The community service award recognizes a group of student-athletes who have demonstrated a commitment to enriching the lives of others and contributing to the greater good in their communities, according to an MMA press release.
For Muchnick, who was behind the nomination, Radcliffe showed that commitment within the immediate MMA athletic community, the larger college community and the towns he lives in while at home and in college.
“He fits the award in so many ways,” Muchnick said.
A native of Rumford, Radcliffe has coached youth basketball and baseball teams. “That was probably my favorite,” he said in a recent interview.
Radcliffe has volunteered with Special Olympics programs at MMA and, with his teammates, helped organize food drives for Bangor food pantries and collected toys and donations for warm clothing for Adams School students.
“I have a passion for doing this,” he said.
As a major in the international business and logistics program at MMA, his academic prowess also qualified him for the nomination.
“He truly is an exceptional student,” said Donald Maier, Associate Dean of the Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business & Logistics.
Radcliffe was recently named a Scheel Scholar as a student who demonstrated “academic qualifications, leadership potential, [promotion of] the essence of MMA, and promise for the future,” Maier continued. “I am very pleased to see that Zach is being recognized again for his talent on and off the basketball court.”
Radcliffe is also a member of the student athletic advisory committee.
“He’s a representative for us in the whole athletic department,” said Muchnick. “That’s something that goes up the hill.”
Muchnick was referring to the college administration where Radcliffe is “a spokesman for athletes.”
Two 10-member teams, composed of five Division I athletes and five Division II, III and NAIA athletes, will be named in February. For Radcliffe, winning a spot on the team means being able to attend the NCAA Final Four games in Dallas.
His own skills on the hard court? Muchnick said Radcliffe has the most assists for his Division III team so far this season.
“He’s not the tallest guy out there,” Muchnick said. “But he’s doing everything a coach could ask of him.”