Faithfull named Mr. Basketball
BANGOR— After a roller-coaster senior campaign, Cheverus point guard Indiana Faithfull finished in style.
Faithfull, who led the Stags to their second Class A state championship in three seasons on Feb. 27, added a special feather to his cap Friday night at Husson University when he was selected as the winner of the prestigious Maine Mr. Basketball award.
Faithfull edged three other standouts: Falmouth's Stefano Mancini, South Portland's Keegan Hyland and Westbrook's Dominic Borelli to become the first Cheverus recipient in the award's 23-year history.
"I was definitely surprised," said Faithfull. "The other three guys that were nominated are great players. It's a real honor."
Faithfull, a native of Australia, became Cheverus' starting point guard his sophomore year. That season, the Stags won the Class A title, surprising Bangor in the state game. After an undefeated junior year ended with a stunning and heartbreaking loss to Thornton Academy in the semifinals, Faithfull and his teammates were dominant this season before he found himself in the midst of a firestorm.
In late-January, Cheverus announced that a review of Faithfull's transcripts revealed that he'd used three semesters of eligibility during his freshman year in Australia. As a result, he'd exhausted the eight consecutive semesters allotted by Maine Principals' Association decree when the first semester of this school year ended. As a result, his high school playing career appeared over.
Just a couple hours before the start of the tournament, however, a lawsuit brought by Faithfull's family, contending he'd been the victim of prejudice due to his country of origin, was upheld in Superior Court. Shockingly, Faithfull was reinstated for the postseason (the MPA is contesting the ruling and if successful, is expected to strip the Stags of their title).
Faithfull led his team to wins over Scarborough, Windham and Westbrook to garner a regional crown (and the George Vinall award, as the regional tournament most valuable player), then scored 23 points in Cheverus' 55-50 victory over Edward Little in the state final. Faithfull was 54-4 during his high school career. He averaged 12 points, five rebounds and six assists per game this winter.
Faithfull's skill, leadership and ability to persevere during the recent ordeal was enough to earn him the award.
"I'm not surprised, I thought he earned it," said Cheverus coach Bob Brown. "I think the committee deserves unbelievable kudos. With all the problems that have been around. For them to give it to him regardless. I'm so pleased for him."
Faithfull, typically, paid tribute to his teammates and expressed his gratitude.
"I'm happy for everything that's happened," he said. "Winning the state championship is still the best experience I've had so far. It's a nice way to end things. I'm just lucky to have so much support from my teammates and everyone."
Making the night sweeter for Cheverus was the selection of senior Kyle Randall for a Maine McDonald's All-State $1,000 scholarship.
Randall is in the top 10 percent of his class. He has served as captain of the varsity golf, basketball and baseball teams, is a member of the National Honor Society and has received the Williams College Book Award and Cheverus Academic Excellence Award.
"Two great guys and two great awards," Brown said. "I think it's fantastic."
Scarborough's Christy Manning was the winner of the Miss Basketball honor.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org