News and Tribune

Floyd County Sports

March 28, 2014

BOYS' BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR: McEwen named area’s top player

Senior led Generals to historic season

CLARKSVILLE — During his first three years as a member of the Clarksville High School boys’ basketball team, Calvin McEwen was one of the Generals’ key players.

However, he was not the main leader of the team. That role was primarily reserved for his older brother, former Clarksville standout and current Taylor University freshman Aidan McEwen.

This past season, Calvin McEwen’s leadership responsibilities significantly increased.

Not only did the 6-foot senior guard had to lead by example, but he had to become more of a vocal leader.

McEwen did both quite well.

He was the Generals’ leading scorer (19.5 points per game) and their top assist man (six per game). He also made 56 percent of his field goals, 46 percent of his 3-pointers and 79 percent of his free throws.

McEwen led Clarksville (23-3) to a share of the Mid-Southern Conference championship, its second consecutive Class 2A sectional title and its first regional crown.

That single-season resume has helped McEwen win this year’s News and Tribune Area Player of the Year award.

“It’s a huge honor considering all the good players in our area,” McEwen said in a phone interview. “I’m very grateful and it’s a blessing.”

Clarksville coach Jason Connell said McEwen’s work ethic makes him the best candidate for the annual honor.

“I think he’s very deserving. The time and effort he put in to our program is second to none,” Connell said. “He led us in scoring and assists and at the free-throw line. There were very few times when he was left out of the offense because everything ran through him. He’s the complete player.”

When the season started, McEwen did not avoid the top leadership role left by his brother.

Instead, he embraced it.

“I loved it. I’m not a big talker, but I like to lead by example,” McEwen said. “Last year, I was a leader, but I had my brother to rely on. This year, I had to be the leader through the good times and the bad. I think I did a good job in the transition to being a leader from last year to this year.”

Connell thought McEwen’s leadership was essential in the Generals having one of the best seasons in program history.

“It was crucial,” Connell said. “He’s not a vocal leader most of the time, but he became one. Most of the time, he leads by example through his work ethic.”

In the offseason, McEwen proved he was the leader of the Generals by telling family and friends that his team was going to have an unforgettable season. Like most great leaders, he backed it up.

“In the offseason, I told people that this is our year,” McEwen said. “Coming into the year, we had huge expectations for ourselves. I’m proud of what I accomplished as an individual and what we accomplished as a team.”

McEwen will continue his basketball career next season at Holy Cross College, an NAIA school in Notre Dame, Indiana. McEwen visited the campus during fall break and liked the school upon arrival.

“I said in my head that this is where I want to go. When they offered me [a scholarship], there was no hesitation [in choosing Holy Cross],” McEwen said.

McEwen will play for coach Mike McBride, who is a Jeffersonville native. Although McEwen denies that McBride’s Southern Indiana roots had any influence in his college choice, he is glad to have the Providence graduate as his future coach.

“It helps that a guy on the coaching staff knows the area you come from,” McEwen said.

He also will be playing alongside one of his high school teammates at Holy Cross in sharpshooting guard Andrew Jones. The 6-foot senior averaged 18.5 points per game for the Generals in 2013-14.

“That’s awesome,” McEwen said. “[Jones’ decision to attend Holy Cross] didn’t play too large a factor in my decision, but it will be a huge bonus having him there. I’m excited to be playing four more years with him.”

Connell is confident that McEwen will have a great career at Holy Cross.

“I think he’ll go up there and keep doing what he’s been doing,” Connell said. “I think he’ll rise to the challenge and become a good college guard.”

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