The Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team is searching for an end-of-the-season push with the help of sophomore standout Chris Middleton.
The New York City native started his basketball career in middle school and has never looked back.
“Ever since my godfather gave me a green basketball when I was kid I knew that was the sport I wanted to play,” Middleton said. “In middle school, my friend convinced me to try out for the team and I’ve loved the game ever since.”
Despite making his official visit in May of his senior year of high school, Middleton said the weather would not be a factor in making his decision on where to play college basketball.
“When I was walking around campus during my visit, I just loved the atmosphere of the students and the friendliness of everyone,” Middleton said. “Coach Curle was another reason why I came to Plattsburgh because of the way he carries himself and what he expects out of his players.”
Head coach Tom Curle was thrilled Middleton chose Plattsburgh to play college basketball.
“Chris is a very versatile player and can play any position on the court for us,” Curle said. “He is a competitor and works hard at his game, which makes him a perfect fit for Plattsburgh basketball.”
While Middleton enjoys spending time with friends and playing video games off the court, he realizes the importance of staying focused on academics throughout the season.
“Although I hate to miss practice, I know having a tutor during the season is very helpful,” Middleton said. “Getting it done in the classroom is just as important as preforming on the court.”
Being an offensive threat and a lock-down defender are a couple of things Middleton enjoys about playing basketball.
“My favorite thing about playing basketball is seeing everyone happy,” Middleton said. “It just makes the game more fun for myself, seeing everyone smiling and having a good time.”
Senior forward Owen Mitchell thought Middleton to be a bit quiet, but after the first time playing with him, he knew he could play.
“Chris is one of the first guys at practice every day,” Mitchell said. “He is always asking Coach questions and making sure he knows how to do things correctly.”
Having a 6’7” guard is not something basketball teams see quite often, but Mitchell thinks he is a huge difference maker.
“He’s one of those guys where you’re really glad he’s on your team and not the other,” Mitchell said.
Despite Middleton being known to be a little bit of a jokester, Curle recognizes his maturity.
“He is very mature for his age and has potential to be a leader on our team in the future,” Curle said. “Chris came in as a good high school player and is developing into a good college player.”
Former teammate and current assistant coach Kyle Richardson has had a large influence on the player Middleton aspires to be.
“The way he was on and off the court was something I looked up to,” Middleton said. “The way he carried himself is what Plattsburgh basketball is all about.”
Being known as a great basketball player is not the only thing Middleton wants to be known as.
“At some point in my career I would like to hold a championship trophy over my head,” Middleton said.
Only in his sophomore season, Curle can see a bright future for Middleton.
“When he fully develops into the player we know he can be, he will be a force on the court,” Curle said.
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